Excimer Laser Photokeratectomy Reactivates Latent Herpes Simplex Virus
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It has been reported that excimer laser irradiation might elicit herpes simplex virus (HSV) genome activation. We describe a clinical case in which HSV DNA sequences were detected quantitatively after phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK).
A 90-year-old woman underwent excimer laser photokeratectomy for bilateral band-shaped keratopathy. Tear film was collected from both eyes using a Schirmer’s strip before and 3 and 7 days after phototherapeutic keratectomy.
HSV-DNA was quantified by a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. HSV-DNA was detected only on the third day postoperatively in both eyes. The amount of viral DNA was 2.0 × 105 (OD) and 1.3 × 105 (OS) copies/sample, respectively.
Excimer laser photokeratectomy stimulated viral shedding in the tear film. Ophthalmologists should be aware that laser irradiation can reactivate latent HSV. Jpn J Ophthalmol 2004;48:570–572 © Japanese Ophthalmological Society 2004
Key wordsexcimer laser herpes simplex virus real-time polymerase chain reaction assay viral shedding
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