Since the introduction of 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine (IDU) by Kaufman1 as a treatment for herpes simplex keratitis, there has been a great arousal of interest in antiviral chemotherapy. Effectiveness of this drug was first demonstrated in controlled studies of the eyes of rabbits2,3 and has been confirmed in a controlled laboratory study at another institution.4
Following the initial reports of the controlled laboratory studies, there have been a number of clinical reports describing a universally beneficial effect of this drug in human herpetic disease, in series ranging in size from two to five hundred patients.5-12 All of these reports have been uncontrolled and thereby have overlooked two basic facts about human herpes simplex keratitis, that it is a self-limited disease, and that, with the exception of the rarely recognized primary infection, it is a recurrent infection which develops in the presence of adequate antibody level, not the same
BURNS RP. A Double-Blind Study of IDU in Human Herpes Simplex Keratitis. Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;70(3):381–384. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960050383020
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