Progressive herpetic linear endotheliitis

Cornea. 2007 Apr;26(3):365-7. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31802c9e49.


Purpose: To report the clinical course of a rare case of bilateral herpetic linear endotheliitis.

Methods: A 70-year-old man presented with bilateral circumferential bullous edema with stromal edema progressing centrally in the left cornea and bilateral sensorineural hearing impairment simultaneously. Serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV1) were tested for, and aqueous humor from both eyes was examined separately using polymerase chain reaction for the presence of HSV1 DNA.

Results: Serum antibody titers against HSV1 were positive. In the polymerase chain reaction, the aqueous humor showed HSV1 DNA in both eyes. Forty milligrams of prednisolone was given per day and 200 mg of oral acyclovir was given 4 times daily, but corneal edema progressed. After penetrating keratoplasty surgery in the left eye, recurrent herpetic endotheliitis also seemed to occur.

Conclusions: HSV-1 may cause bilateral corneal linear endotheliitis and hearing impairment simultaneously. Linear endotheliitis should be regarded as a manifestation of HSV1 corneal infection. There is a poor prognosis, and severe corneal edema can result if aggressive treatment is not used.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Aqueous Humor / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Endothelium, Corneal / virology*
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / diagnosis
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / drug therapy
  • Hearing Loss, Sensorineural / etiology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / diagnosis
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / drug therapy
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / etiology*
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • DNA, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Prednisolone
  • Acyclovir