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January 1973

Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus Treated With Cytarabine

Author Affiliations

Washington, DC
From the departments of medicine and ophthalmology, Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1973;89(1):21-24. doi:10.1001/archopht.1973.01000040023006

Four patients with herpes zoster ophthalmicus were treated with the anti-DNA viral compound, cytarabine (cytosine arabinoside). Three of the patients were steroid-resistant but had complete resolution of ocular inflammation after five days of cytarabine treatment. One of these had nondisabling residual pupillary dysfunction which progressed to a tonic pupil. A fourth patient responded incompletely, due in part, perhaps, to preexisting treated Hodgkin's disease which necessitated alteration in both technique of drug administration and dosage schedule. With additional experiences, the benefits of cytarabine in the treatment of steroid-resistant cases and as a primary agent will become clearer.