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Case report
Acute retinal necrosis by herpes simplex virus type 1: an unusual presentation of a primary infection


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) can affect the central nervous system causing meningitis, encephalitis and, rarely, acute retinal necrosis. We present a case of a 46-year-old man, previously healthy complaining of a 5-day persistent headache and sudden loss of vision of his left eye that progressed to the right. We started ceftriaxone, methylprednisolone and acyclovir for suspected encephalitis with vasculitis. HSV-1 was identified in vitreous and aqueous humour. Therapy with acyclovir was maintained and two intravitreous boluses of foscarnet were administered, without improvement. Usually being a benign infection, HSV can, in rare cases like this, have catastrophic effects in the optic tract.

  • infectious diseases
  • cranial nerves
  • neuroopthalmology
  • retina
  • visual pathway

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