Antiviral treatment following penetrating keratoplasty for herpetic keratitis

JF Goodfellow, S Nabili, MN Jones, DQ Nquyen, WJ Armitage, SD Cook, DM Tole

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: To assess the effect of antiviral treatment on corneal graft survival following penetrating keratoplasty for herpetic keratitis. METHODS: Retrospective cohort study of 454 patients receiving primary penetrating keratoplasties (PKs) for viral infection reported to NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) between April 1999 and June 2005. Follow-up data were available on 403 PKs. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates were used to determine graft survival for the three treatment groups: no medication, topical antiviral, and oral antiviral medication. A Cox regression model was used to investigate the combined effects of all additional factors on graft failure. The model was fitted using all pre-operative factors first and then post-operative factors including type of antiviral medication were included. RESULTS: Patients who received oral antiviral medication post-operatively had consistently better graft survival than those receiving no medication or only topical medication. Patients receiving oral antivirals were less than a third as likely to have a failed graft at 5 years compared with those on no antiviral medication (relative risk (RR) 0.3, CI: 0.2-0.7, P=0.002). Other factors that were found to influence the risk of graft failure were the presence of deep corneal vascularisation (P=0.009), PK performed for therapeutic reasons (P=0.03), large diameter grafts (P=0.04), and experiencing a rejection episode (P=0.003). CONCLUSION: Oral antiviral treatment reduces the risk of graft failure in patients undergoing primary PK for herpetic keratitis and should be routinely used in this group of patients post-operatively unless contra-indicated.
Translated title of the contributionAntiviral treatment following penetrating keratoplasty for herpetic keratitis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470 - 474
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011


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