HSV Keratitis

Herpetic keratitis is a chameleon. However, given adequate medical and microsurgical management it has lost much of its horror today - Berthold Seitz MD

HSV Keratitis
HSV Keratitis

image by: F.H.A Eye & Hearing Care Services

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Be a Hero to Your HSVK Patients

Because of its variable presentation and ability to affect all corneal layers, HSVK has several masqueraders and differential diagnoses. For example, any keratitis that creates a dendriform lesion could be mistaken for HSV epithelial keratitis. Infectious masqueraders include Acanthamoeba keratitis, VZVK, adenovirus epithelial keratitis, Epstein-Barr epithelial keratitis, chlamydial keratitis and other varying microbial keratitis...

The Herpetic Eye Disease Study (HEDS) I showed no benefit in combining both oral and topical antivirals, so choose one course of treatment. One exception to this may be prescribing for immunocompromised patients...

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 Be a Hero to Your HSVK Patients

Humans are the only known natural reservoir for HSV. Along with the nose and mouth, the eyes are a main access point.


The diagnosis of HSV keratitis is primarily clinical, although additional tests may be useful in providing confirmation, but never exclusion.[1-4] The Tzanck (Giemsa) smear of multinucleated epithelial cells is a quick test with high specificity but low sensitivity. Viral culture remains the gold standard with high sensitivity for detection of the virus

The College of Optometrists

HSK has a highly variable and unpredictable course Can be considered as a spectrum of four distinct disease entities (with differing management strategies)...


Herpes simplex keratitis is caused by recurrent infection of the cornea by herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus is most commonly transmitted by droplet transmission, or less frequently by direct inoculation. Herpes keratitis remains the leading infectious cause of corneal ulcers and blindness worldwide.

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