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.