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February 1962

Treatment of Herpetic Keratitis

Arch Ophthalmol. 1962;67(2):122. doi:10.1001/archopht.1962.00960020124003

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It has not been our editorial policy to comment on articles prior to their publication, but the practical importance of one manuscript pending publication compels us to bring it to public attention forthwith. Dr. Herbert E. Kaufman, Dr. Anthony B. Nesburn, and Mrs. Emily Maloney report the successful treatment of herpetic keratitis with topical instillation of 5-iodo-2′-deoxyuridine (IDU). To our knowledge this is the first effective medical treatment for this common and frequently blinding eye disease.

The authors found that instillation of a saturated solution of IDU every two hours resulted in a prompt cure of dendritic keratitis in a controlled series of rabbits and in a preliminary series of human beings. It was also effective, although less completely, in stromal herpes infections of both rabbits and man.

IDU, which is readily available and nontoxic, presumably acts by interference with the viral-directed synthesis of desoxyribose nucleic acid. It has previously

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