Apparent cytomegalovirus epithelial keratitis in a cardiac transplant recipient

Transplantation. 1991 May;51(5):1040-3. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199105000-00021.


A 44-year-old immunosuppressed man developed initial symptoms of intermittent irritation of the left eye three months after cardiac transplantation. Symptoms increased, with decreased vision, photophobia, and lacrimation. Slit lamp examination showed slightly raised, swollen, grayish epithelium in a broad multibranching dendritic pattern associated with fine and medium punctate epithelial erosions that stained slightly with fluorescein. Histopathologic study of the corneal epithelial scraping demonstrated swollen epithelial cells with intranuclear and intracytoplasmic viral inclusions. Viral cultures manifested a cytopathic pattern characteristic of cytomegalovirus 14 days after inoculation on human embryonic lung cells (MRC-5). Pretransplantation cytomegalovirus IgM and IgG serologic titers were negative (less than 1:16 for IgG, no IgM noted) until the onset of symptoms. Subsequently, IgM titers rose against cytomegalovirus consistent with concurrent infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Cytomegalovirus Infections / transmission*
  • Heart Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunoglobulin M / analysis
  • Immunosuppression / adverse effects
  • Keratitis / etiology*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M