Herpetic Eye Disease in a Public Eye Hospital in Nigeria

  • SNN Nwosu
  • AI Akapama


Objective: To determine the aetiology, pattern and complications of herpetic eye disease seen at the Guinness Eye Centre, Onitsha, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: The case files of all patients with herpetic eye disease who presented at the centre between January 1998 and December 2003 were reviewed. Information on age, sex, aetiological diagnosis, visual acuity, ocular complications and HIV status were abstracted into a standard proforma and analysed. Results: Sixty-two patients (64 eyes) – 35 male and 27 female – were seen. Age range was 14 months to 80 years. Thirtyone (50%) patients (32 eyes) had herpes simplex keratitis, 30 had cytomegalovirus retinitis. Twenty-nine patients were HIV positive. Fifty per cent of the affected eyes had low vision. Common ocular complications were: corneal opacity (20 patients); herpetic neuralgia (9 patients); uveitis (8 patients); and superimposed bacterial infections (6 patients). Conclusions: Herpetic eye disease is an important cause of ocular morbidity. Herpes zoster and cytomegalovirus infections, especially in young people, should raise the suspicion of coexisting HIV infection. Corneal scarring is the most common complication of the disease and requires keratoplasty to restore vision.

Keywords: herpetic eye disease, Onitsha, Nigeria

Nigerian Journal of Opthalmology Vol. 15 (2) 2007: pp. 35-38

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2468-8363
print ISSN: 0189-9171