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April 1976

Herpes Simplex Keratitis in a Developing Country: Natural History and Treatment of Epithelial Ulcers in Tunisia

Author Affiliations

From the Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco (Drs Whitcher, Dawson, and Oh); l'Institut d'Ophtalmologie, Tunis, Tunisia (Drs Daghfous, Messadi and Triki); and the Division of Indian Health, Public Health Service Phoenix, Ariz (Dr Hoshiwara).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1976;94(4):587-592. doi:10.1001/archopht.1976.03910030279006

• Herpes simplex keratitis was found to be a common ophthalmic problem in Tunisia. Dendritic and geographic ulcers were complicated by deep stromal keratitis in 31 % of patients, two thirds of whom were known to have been treated previously with corticosteroids. Herpes simplex virus was isolated from 41% of patients from whom corneal material wascultured. To develop an effective program for management of epithelial herpes in developing countries, treatment with idoxuridine was compared with debridement and patching. Average healing time for 31 ulcers treated with idoxuridine was 13 days, with three treatment failures; average healing time for 20 ulcers treated with debridement and patching was five days, with one failure. Debridement and patching of herpetic ulcers was an efficient way to treat herpes simplex keratitis within the context of overall medical care in Tunisia.

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