[The Chameleon of Herpetic Keratitis - Diagnosis and Therapy]

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2015 Jun;232(6):745-53. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1545975. Epub 2015 Jun 17.
[Article in German]


In Europe, herpes simplex virus type I (HSV) is a common cause of keratitis. The disease may be well treated if the ophthalmologtist is aware of the various types of clinical expressions of this typical unilateral chameleon, and treatment is adjusted accordingly. Types of expression include: (i) epithelial keratitis (dendritica/geographica), (ii) stromal keratitis (necrotising vs. non-necrotising = "interstitial keratitis"), (iii) endotheliitis (= "disciform keratitis"), (iv) so-called "metaherpetic keratitis" (= neurotrophic keratopathy), (v) (vascularised) corneal scars. In the acute phase, concomitant ocular hypertension should be treated predominantly without surgery (no prostaglandin analoga!). After keratoplasty and in cases of severe recurrences of herpetic keratitis, systemic aciclovir administration (2 × 400 mg/day) for at least one year is indispensable!

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / diagnosis*
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / drug therapy*
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / etiology
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / adverse effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir