Distinguishing Features of Anterior Uveitis Caused by Herpes Simplex Virus, Varicella-Zoster Virus, and Cytomegalovirus

Yukiko Terada, Toshikatsu Kaburaki, Hiroshi Takase, Hiroshi Goto, Satoko Nakano, Yoshitsugu Inoue, Kazuichi Maruyama, Kazunori Miyata, Kenichi Namba, Koh Hei Sonoda, Yutaka Kaneko, Jiro Numaga, Masaya Fukushima, Noe Horiguchi, Mitsunao Ide, Fumie Ehara, Dai Miyazaki, Eiichi Hasegawa, Manabu Mochizuki

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To determine distinguishing features of the clinical characteristics of anterior uveitis (AU) caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Design: Retrospective, multicenter case series. Methods: Consecutive patients with herpetic AU examined at 11 tertiary centers in Japan between January 2012 and December 2017 and who were followed for ≥3 months were evaluated. Diagnosis was made by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HSV, VZV, or CMV in the aqueous humor, or classical signs of herpes zoster ophthalmicus. Results: This study enrolled 259 herpetic AU patients, including PCR-proven HSV-AU (30 patients), VZV-AU (50), and CMV-AU (147), and herpes zoster ophthalmicus (32). All HSV-AU and VZV-AU patients were unilateral, while 3% of CMV-AU patients were bilateral. Most HSV-AU and VZV-AU patients were sudden onset with an acute clinical course, while CMV-AU had a more insidious onset and chronic course. There were no significant differences for all surveyed symptoms, signs, and complications between HSV-AU and VZV-AU. However, significant differences were detected for many items between CMV-AU and the other two herpetic AU types. Ocular hyperemia and pain, blurring of vision, ciliary injection, medium-to-large keratic precipitates (KPs), cells and flare in the anterior chamber, and posterior synechia significantly more often occurred in HSV-AU and VZV-AU vs CMV-AU. In contrast, small KPs, coin-shaped KPs, diffuse iris atrophy, elevated intraocular pressure, and glaucoma surgery were significantly more frequent in CMV-AU vs HSV-AU and VZV-AU. Conclusion: This multicenter, retrospective study identified distinguishing features of HSV-AU, VZV-AU, and CMV-AU.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-200
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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