Review for Disease of the Year: Varicella Zoster Virus-Induced Anterior Uveitis

Ilknur Tugal-Tutkun, Luca Cimino, Yonca Aydin Akova

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Varicella zoster virus (VZV)-induced anterior uveitis (AU) may complicate the course of primary varicella infection typically seen in children. In adults, especially with advanced age, VZV AU is more commonly associated with herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) with or without skin rash affecting the distribution of the ophthalmic nerve due to reactivation of the latent VZV in the trigeminal ganglion. While it is typically a mild self-limiting AU in primary infection, HZO AU is often accompanied by keratitis, may have a chronic recurrent course, and lead to sectoral iris atrophy, pupillary distortion, and ocular hypertension. Diagnosis is often clinical and proven by analysis of aqueous humor for viral genome or antiviral antibodies. Systemic antiviral agents and topical steroids are the mainstay of treatment. Visual prognosis is favorable with timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 17 2018


  • Antiviral treatment
  • herpes zoster ophthalmicus
  • primary varicella infection
  • varicella zoster virus
  • viral anterior uveitis
  • visual prognosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology


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