What is included in the long-term monitoring of patients with herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis?

Updated: Jan 18, 2019
  • Author: Jim C Wang (王崇安), MD; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Patients with HSV keratitis need to be monitored closely in an outpatient clinic until the disease is inactive. Any suspicious corneal infiltrate in the presence of HSV epithelial keratitis should be cultured for possible secondary microbial infection and then managed with topical antibacterial or antifungal agents. Persistence of an epithelial defect despite antiviral treatment should raise the suspicion of topical corneal toxicity and neurotrophic disease. Discontinuation of topical antivirals or even tarsorrhaphy may be required.

Contact lens wear, although not contraindicated in patients with previous HSV keratitis, should be used with caution. Patients should understand that contact lens wear may increase the risk of secondary infection with HSV epithelial keratitis. They should be instructed to discontinue contact lens wear at the earliest symptoms of HSV keratitis recurrence.

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