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Effect of oral acyclovir after penetrating keratoplasty for herpetic keratitis: a placebo-controlled multicenter trial.

Ophthalmology 2003, vol. 110, issue 10

OBJECTIVE

To determine the prophylactic effect of oral acyclovir on the recurrence rate of herpetic eye disease after penetrating keratoplasty.

DESIGN

A randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled multicenter trial.

PARTICIPANTS

Sixty-eight consecutive patients (68 eyes) with corneal opacities due to herpetic eye disease who underwent penetrating keratoplasty.

INTERVENTION

Oral acyclovir 400 mg twice daily or placebo tablets for 6 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES

The recurrence rate of herpetic eye disease-related events and rejection episodes, proven by viral cell culture or polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS

During the 2-year follow-up period, there were 3 culture-proven herpetic eye disease recurrences in the acyclovir group and 9 in the placebo group. Lifetime survival analysis of the probability of remaining free from recurrence revealed a significantly reduced risk of recurrent herpetic disease in the acyclovir-treated group.

CONCLUSION

This study suggests that oral acyclovir effectively prevents herpes-related recurrences after penetrating keratoplasty in herpetic eye disease.

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