Article Text


Acute retinal necrosis syndrome.
  1. D. S. Gartry,
  2. D. J. Spalton,
  3. A. Tilzey and
  4. P. G. Hykin
  1. St Thomas's Hospital, Department of Ophthalmology, London.


    Acute retinal necrosis (ARN) is a rare syndrome with characteristic fundal appearances which can have devastating effects on vision. We present six cases (nine eyes) seen in the Medical Eye Unit of St Thomas's Hospital over the past six years and discuss the clinical features, aetiology, and management. Our findings support the present consensus that the condition is caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV) or herpes simplex virus (HSV). One of our patients, who was atypical in having common variable hypogammaglobulinaemia, had suffered a widespread zosteriform rash immediately prior to the onset of ARN, while another had suffered a herpes simplex uveomeningoencephalitis. All cases had characteristic confluent peripheral retinal necrosis, and three of the nine eyes developed retinal detachment. Retinal arteritis was a prominent and helpful diagnostic feature in one case. From combining all reports to date of this rare condition it is possible to conclude that ARN is unilateral in 65% of cases.

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