There is no standard of treatment for epithelial pseudodendrites in herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO). The purpose of this study is to report the topical antiviral drug, 0.15% ganciclovir for treatment of these lesions.
This is a retrospective, interventional case series of 4 patients who were diagnosed with HZO epithelial pseudodendrites despite being given oral antiviral treatment and who underwent 0.15% ganciclovir gel topical treatment. Main outcome measures included epithelial healing time, visual acuity, and corneal sensation.
All 4 patients were immunocompetent and had epithelial lesions unresponsive to antiviral treatment with oral valacyclovir. Treatment with topical 0.15% ganciclovir gel 5 times a day resulted in the lesions healing successfully within 7 days with improved visual acuity in 3 patients and an increase in corneal sensation in 2 of the 4 patients.
Topical 0.15% ganciclovir gel, 5 times a day until pseudodendritic lesion healing and tapering to bid for 2 to 4 weeks thereafter, is an effective treatment for pseudodendrites in HZO-affected cases that are often a challenge to manage with other oral or topical antivirals.