The acute retinal necrosis syndrome is a rapidly progressive and potentially devastating disease. A case of acute retinal necrosis developed in an immunocompetent man, presumably due to the stress, trauma, or immunomodulation related to a craniotomy for a parasellar craniopharyngioma. Vitrectomy and endoretinal biopsy were performed. Polymerase chain reaction studies of the vitreous revealed herpes simplex virus type 2 as the cause, which has not been previously well documented. Results of cerebrospinal fluid antibody studies were also consistent with the diagnosis. Results of cytology and histopathologic examination demonstrated extensive retinal destruction and mononuclear cell infiltration. Sloughing of the inner retina was evidenced by the presence of retinal vascular remnants in the vitreous cytology specimen. As is characteristic of this disease, the visual outcome of this patient was poor.