Since the great majority of patients possess immune response to herpes simplex virus (HSV), the influence of a topical anti-inflammatory corticosteroid (0.1% clobetasone butyrate) on ulcerative herpetic keratitis was studied in rabbits with a previous HSV skin infection (immunised) and compared with that in normal rabbits. Corticosteroid treatment had a much greater ulceration-exacerbating effect in immunised than in normal animals. On day 7 the mean area of ulceration in immunised rabbits were 3 times greater in treated eyes. 0.01% clobetasone butyrate treatment had less effect on immunised rabbits; 0.001% had no effect. It is concluded that the immunised rabbit provides a useful experimental model for studying the relationship between concentration of topical anti-inflammatory agents and enhancement of herpetic ulceration.
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