Polymerase chain reaction detection of herpes simplex virus in tear fluid from atypical herpetic epithelial keratitis after penetrating keratoplasty

Am J Ophthalmol. 1996 Nov;122(5):732-5. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)70497-0.


Purpose: We investigated the efficacy of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in diagnosing atypical epithelial keratitis after a penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) for herpetic corneal scarring.

Methods: We examined three eyes of three patients with keratitis after a PKP for herpetic corneal scarring. The clinical presentation of the keratitis was atypical. DNA extracted from the tears was subjected to PCR and Southern blot hybridization.

Results: Herpes simplex virus DNA was identified in all cases of presumptive recurrent herpetic keratitis.

Conclusion: Polymerase chain reaction is rapid and effective for diagnosing atypical recurrent herpetic keratitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Blotting, Southern
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Cornea / virology
  • DNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Electrophoresis, Agar Gel
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Epithelium / virology
  • Female
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / diagnosis*
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / etiology
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / pathology
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Tears / virology*


  • DNA, Viral