Background/Aim To review the long-term outcomes of penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) for corneal complications of herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO).
Methods We reviewed the medical records of 53 eyes of 53 patients who underwent PKP due to corneal complications of HZO at the Kellogg Eye Center.
Results The mean age of patients at the time of PKP was 68.0±16.4 years, with a follow-up of 4.0±3.8 years and quiescent period of 6.5±5.3 years from active HZO to PKP. Preoperatively, 25 (47.2%) eyes were completely anaesthetic, while 16 (30.2%) had deep corneal neovascularisation in four quadrants. Comorbid ocular disease, including cataract, glaucoma and macular disease, was present in 25 (47.2%) eyes. Twenty patients (37.8%) received acyclovir for the entire postoperative period. There were no recurrences of zoster keratitis in any eye. The most common complications were difficulty healing the ocular surface (12/53, 22.6%) and glaucoma (14/53, 26.4%). Thirty per cent of the eyes required one or more additional postoperative procedures, most commonly tarsorrhaphy (10/53, 18.9%) and amniotic membrane graft (6/53, 11.3%). At 1, 2–4 and ≥5 years, 94%, 82% and 70% grafts remained clear, respectively. Visual acuity improved at 1 year postoperatively (p<0.0001), but this improvement was not sustained. There was no significant benefit of long-term acyclovir on visual acuity (p=0.2132) or graft survival (p=0.241).
Conclusions Even in eyes with significant preoperative risk factors, PKP for the corneal complications of HZO can achieve favourable tectonic and visual results. Although most grafts remained clear, long-term visual potential may be limited by comorbid ocular diseases. Prophylactic postoperative oral acyclovir did not improve outcomes.
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