[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
August 1992

Detection of Varicella Zoster Virus DNA and Viral Antigen in the Late Stage of Bilateral Acute Retinal Necrosis Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology (Drs Rummelt and Naumann, Mr Wenkel, and Ms Rummelt) and Institute of Clinical and Molecular Virology (Dr Jahn), University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Marienhospital Osnabrück, Osnabrück (Dr Meyer), Federal Republic of Germany.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992;110(8):1132-1136. doi:10.1001/archopht.1992.01080200112037

• We describe the clinicopathologic and virologic findings in the right, blind eye of an immunocompetent 61-year-old woman. The eye was enucleated 32 months after the clinical onset of a bilateral acute retinal necrosis syndrome. Histopathologic study showed a diffuse, full-thickness, necrotizing retinitis with replacement of sensory retinal structures by glial tissue, occlusive retinal arteritis, granulomatous choroiditis, and optic neuritis with ischemic optic atrophy. Varicella zoster virus could be identified as the causative agent by DNA in situ hybridization and by immunohistochemical stains in mononuclear cells with eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusions. Virus was detected only within the choroid and the choriocapillaris. We conclude that these histopathologic and virologic features are consistent with a "burned-out phase" of a varicella zoster virus—induced acute retinal necrosis syndrome.