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Joanna Brydak-Godowska, Piotr Borkowski, Szymon Szczepanik, Joanna Moneta-Wielgoś, Dariusz Kęcik
(Department of Ophthalmology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland)
Med Sci Monit 2014; 20:2088-2096
The purpose of this paper was to present a case series of self-limiting, peripheral acute retinal necrosis and to demonstrate efficacy of treatment with valacyclovir in patients resistant to acyclovir. The diagnosis was made on ophthalmoscopic examination and positive serum tests for herpes viruses.
Material and Methods: Ten patients (6F and 4M) aged 19–55 years were diagnosed and treated for self-limiting acute retinal necrosis (ARN). The following endpoints were reported: visual outcomes, clinical features, disease progression, treatment, and complications. Patients received only symptomatic treatment because they did not consent to vitreous puncture.
Results: Peripheral, mild retinitis was diagnosed in all eyes at baseline. Initially, all patients were treated with systemic acyclovir (800 mg, 5 times a day), prednisone (typically 40–60 mg/day), and aspirin in an outpatient setting. In 6 patients, treatment was discontinued at 6 months due to complete resolution of the inflammatory process. Four patients with immune deficiency showed signs and symptoms of chronic inflammation. Two patients did not respond to acyclovir (2 non-responders); however, those patients were successfully treated with valacyclovir. Complete resolution of inflammatory lesions was observed in 8 patients. In 2 patients, the disease progressed despite treatment – 1 female patient after kidney transplant who stopped the prescribed medications, and 1 male patient with SLE and antiphospholipid syndrome who experienced breakthrough symptoms on-treatment. He died due to cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Neurological complications (encephalitis and meningitis) were observed in 2 female patients. Prophylactic laser photocoagulation was performed in 1 subject.
Conclusions: A series of cases of self-limiting acute retinal necrosis (ARN) is presented. This clinical form of ARN can resemble toxoplasmic retinitis in some cases. Oral antiviral medications provide an effective alternative to intravenous formulations in patients with self-limiting ARN. Retinitis is associated with the risk of encephalitis.