Send to

Choose Destination
Optom Vis Sci. 2014 Jun;91(6):e149-55. doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000000280.

Late reactivation of herpes zoster keratitis results in band keratopathy.

Author information

*PhD, BApp(Sci) †FRANZCO, FRACS Vision Eye Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (both authors); and Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (JMA).



To report an unusual case of a late-stage reactivation of immune stromal keratitis associated with herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO), occurring without any apparent predisposing factors, more than 4 years after an acute zoster dermatomal rash. Significant corneal hypoesthesia and a central band keratopathy developed within 6 months of the late-stage reactivation. The clinical case management, issues associated with management, and management options are discussed, including the use of standardized, regulatory approved, antibacterial medical honey.


An 83-year-old woman presented for routine review with a reactivation of right anterior stromal keratitis and mild anterior uveitis, occurring more than 4 years after an acute HZO dermatomal rash and an associated initial episode of anterior stromal keratitis. Corneal sensation became markedly impaired, and over the subsequent 6 months, a right central band keratopathy developed despite oral antiviral and topical steroid therapy. Visual acuity with pinhole was reduced to 20/100 in the affected eye and moderate irritation and epiphora were experienced. The patient declined the surgical intervention options of chelation, lamellar keratectomy, and phototherapeutic keratectomy to treat the band keratopathy. Longer-term management has involved preservative-free artificial tears, eyelid hygiene, standardized antibacterial medical honey, topical nonpreserved steroid, and UV-protective wraparound sunglasses. The clinical condition has improved over 14 months with this ocular surface management regimen, and visual acuity of 20/30 is currently achieved in a comfortable eye.


The chronic and recurrent nature of HZO can be associated with significant corneal morbidity, even many years after the initial zoster episode. Long-term review and management of patients with a history of herpes zoster stromal keratitis are indicated following the initial corneal involvement. Standardized antibacterial medical honey can be considered in the management of the chronic ocular surface disease associated with HZO and warrants further evaluation in clinical trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center