To describe the demographic features and clinical characteristics of patients with herpes keratitis (HK) and limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) and identify possible factors associated with development of LSCD after HK.
In this retrospective case-series study, records of patients with a clinical diagnosis of HK seen at Massachusetts Eye and Ear over a 5-year period were reviewed for evidence of LSCD. Patient demographics, medical history, treatment, and best-corrected visual acuities (BCVAs) were recorded.
We identified 626 patients with HK. Fifty-seven had been diagnosed with LSCD (9.3%). Thirteen percent of patients with herpes zoster keratitis (N= 25) and 7% of patients with herpes simplex keratitis (N= 32) had LSCD (P = 0.01). Keratitis caused by herpes zoster virus [odds ratios (OR), 1.77; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.97–3.19; P = 0.01], stromal involvement (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.27–4.18; P = 0.02), and the use of topical antihypertensives (OR, 2.28; 95% CI, 1.27–4.18; P = 0.02) were found to be associated with a higher likelihood of developing LSCD. The final logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) BCVA was significantly lower in patients with LSCD compared with those without LSCD with a mean BCVA of 1.34 ± 1.52 LogMar (∼20/200) as compared to 0.18 ± 0.54 LogMar (∼20/30 ± 20/60) in those patients without LSCD (P = 0.005).
Our data suggest that HK may be a risk factor for development of LSCD. Patients with HK should be monitored for the development of LSCD to reduce the risk of chronic ocular surface morbidity.