Purpose: To report cytomegalovirus (CMV) DNA in aqueous humor from a patient with unilateral corneal endotheliitis.
Design: Case report.
Methods: A 51-year-old man presented with unilateral corneal endotheliitis with linear keratic precipitates and coin-shaped lesions. Tear and aqueous humor samples were subjected to polymerase chain reaction to look for DNA from herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella zoster virus (VZV), and CMV.
Results: Aqueous humor from the diseased eye contained DNA from CMV but not HSV or VZV. Its specificity was confirmed by Southern blot tests. Intravenous ganciclovir treatment resulted in the localization of his corneal edema and the reduction in keratic precipitates. There was severe destruction of corneal endothelial cells. CMV DNA was not detected in tears or control samples.
Conclusions: In this healthy man with corneal endotheliitis, we detected CMV DNA in aqueous humor from the affected eye, but not HSV or VZV. This suggests that CMV may cause corneal endotheliitis in patients without immunodeficiency.