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April 1963

Herpes Simplex Treatment with IDU and Corticosteroids

Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;69(4):468-472. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960040474008

The use of corticosteroids in the treatment of infection by herpes simplex has been a subject of great controversy. Several articles have been written on the value of corticosteroids, especially in metaherpetic or disciform keratitis and in cases with herpetic iritis.1,2 On the other hand, even in patients with disciform disease and iritis, corticosteroids have been shown to cause recurrences of superficial corneal lesions and perforation of the cornea.3,4 Some authors have condemned their use, even in cases of disciform keratitis, while others, such as DeVoe, feel that the benefits of using corticosteroids in patients with stromal herpes or iritis are so great that such therapy is well worth the risk.5,6

The agent 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine (IDU) inhibits the synthesis of virus, and can successfully treat corneal disease caused by herpes simplex and vaccinia, without damaging normal tissues. It is not a cauterizing or debriding agent, but rather, as