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November 1995

Detecting Varicella-Zoster Virus DNA in Iridocyclitis Using Polymerase Chain Reaction: A Case of Zoster Sine Herpete

Author Affiliations

Osaka, Japan
Boston, Mass

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(11):1358-1359. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100110018009

Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a recognized etiologic agent in iridocyclitis.1 However, diagnosing zoster iridocyclitis without the presence of dermatitis (zoster sine herpete2) is difficult. We describe a patient with iridocyclitis in whom VZV DNA was detected using the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). To our knowledge, this is the first such case of PCR detection of VZV DNA in zoster keratouveitis.

Report of a Case.  A healthy 72-year-old woman, referred to us with a diagnosis of anterior uveitis in the right eye, complained of redness and photophobia in the right eye. Best corrected visual acuities were 20/40 OD and 20/20 OS. Intraocular pressures were 2 mm Hg in the right eye and 12 mm Hg in the left. Slit-lamp examination showed severe Descemet's folds with pigmented keratic precipitates in the right eye (Figure 1, left) and mild cells and flare in the anterior chamber. The corneal epithelium was intact.

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