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Recurrence Rates of Herpes Simplex Virus Keratitis in Contact Lens and Non-Contact Lens Wearers

Mucci, Joti Juneja M.D.; Utz, Virginia M. M.D.; Galor, Anat M.D.; Feuer, William B.S.; Jeng, Bennie H. M.D.

Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice: July 2009 - Volume 35 - Issue 4 - p 185-187
doi: 10.1097/ICL.0b013e3181a9d788

Objective: To evaluate the recurrence rates of herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis in contact lens wearers compared with non-contact lens wearers.

Methods: Retrospective cohort study. Charts of patients diagnosed with HSV keratitis seen at the Cleveland Clinic between January 2001 and December 2004 were reviewed.

Results: One hundred seventeen patients were included in this study: 21 contact lens wearers and 96 non-contact lens wearers. Contact lens wearers were found to have a higher median recurrence rate (0.4 episodes/year) compared with non-contact lens wearers (0.2 episodes/year) (P=0.02). A multivariate regression evaluating factors predictive of the number of recurrences found that contact lens use remained a significant predictive variable (P=0.02) when accounting for patient demographic and disease factors and variable follow-up time.

Conclusions: Patients with a history of HSV keratitis should be counseled about the potential increased risk of recurrence that may be associated with contact lens wear.

From the Cole Eye Institute (J.J.M., V.M.U., A.G., B.H.J.), Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH; and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (W.F.), University of Miami, Miami, FL.

Presented in part at the annual meeting of the Ocular Microbiology Immunology Group, Las Vegas, NV, November, 2006.

Supported in part by a Research to Prevent Blindness Challenge Grant to the Department of Ophthalmology of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and an NIH 1KL2 RR024990 Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Career Development Programs Grant (to B.H.J.).

The first two authors contributed equally to the study.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Bennie H. Jeng, M.D., Department of Ophthalmology, University of California San Francisco, 10 Koret Way, K-304, San Francisco, CA 94143-0730; e-mail:

Accepted April 18, 2009.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.