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February 1966

Reactivation of Herpetic Keratitis by Epinephrine in Rabbit

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;75(2):254-260. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.00970050256020

Recurrent human herpetic keratitis remains one of the most important causes of blindness and disability despite the introduction of newer medications such as idoxuridine, trifluorothymidine, and cytarabine. It is now evident that these new drugs, though therapeutically effective in their initial application for herpetic corneal infections, will not prevent the recurrence of subsequent disease following reactivation of latent virus.1 Recent figures have shown that the overall recurrence rate of herpes simplex keratitis is at least 33%, and that patients with more than one recurrent attack have close to a 50% chance of having another episode of virus activation and keratitis.1

Herpes simplex virus is one of the viruses which can persist in an occult form and, following alteration of the virus-cell equilibrium by certain unknown factors, again become infective.2 Minor corneal trauma,3 menstruation,4 wind, overexposure to sunlight, fever due to infections or artificially produced, and