Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Antiviral therapy found to prevent blindness, other serious effects for patients with eye shingles

11.03.2003


Mayo Clinic has found that for patients with eye shingles, oral antiviral drugs are critical to prevent long-term consequences in the eye. Untreated, 10 percent of eye shingles patients experience a serious long-term outcome, such as severe visual loss, eyelid scarring or chronic in-turning of the eyelashes; if treated, two percent of patients experience these effects. The Mayo Clinic study refutes the findings of a previous British study of oral antivirals in patients with eye shingles.



"This is the first time it’s been documented that within the eye, the chance of something really bad happening is greatly reduced by administering oral antivirals," says Keith Baratz, M.D., Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist and author of the manuscript, "Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus in Olmsted County, Minnesota: Have Systemic Antivirals Made a Difference?" to be published in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, http://archopht.ama-assn.org.

This study, based on data from the Rochester Epidemiology Project, http://www.mayo.edu/research/mir/topic_1029.html, is the first long-term follow-up study and the second largest study of this medication with patients diagnosed with herpes zoster opthalmicus. The largest study completed of oral antivirals for this disease to date, by Moorfield’s Eye Hospital in London, found that oral antivirals did not significantly affect long-term outcome; the study was not well controlled, however, according to the Mayo Clinic researchers. Oral antiviral treatment has been controversial due to the Moorfield’s study as well as the cost of the medicine, which can cost several hundred dollars for a course of treatment, or approximately $13 to $22 per day.


This study compared 323 cases of eye shingles treated in Olmsted County, Minn., between 1976 and 1998. Of these cases, two-thirds, or 202 patients, were treated with oral antiviral medication, such as acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir; and one-third, or 121, were not treated. In untreated patients, 8.9 percent experienced adverse outcomes five to 10 years following the onset of the illness; 2.1 percent of treated patients experienced such outcomes. Also, the group given oral antivirals was less likely to experience the complication neurotrophic keratitis, or loss of feeling in and inflammation of the cornea. Those treated, however, did experience more frequent conjunctivitis, or inflammation of the eyelid-lining membrane and sclera surface, for reasons unknown to the investigators.

Timing of treatment also affected the long-term outcome. Those who experienced long-term negative outcomes such as glaucoma, scleritis (inflammation of the white coating around the eyeball), uveitis (inflammation of the vascular middle coating of the eye), corneal edema or stromal keratitis had waited an average of 4.8 days before receiving treatment; those who did not experience these outcomes waited an average of 3.8 days prior to treatment.

"A delay in treatment with the drug negatively affected the course of the disease," says Dr. Baratz. "Getting in to your doctor quickly is an issue."

According to Dr. Baratz, receiving timely treatment for eye shingles is complicated, however, by nonspecific symptoms at the start of the disease. The origin of these early symptoms also is difficult to pinpoint.

"You can get headaches first, or a rash first or pinkeye first," says Dr. Baratz. "Very early on it can be difficult to diagnose." He adds, however, that herpes zoster ophthalmicus is very easy to diagnose once the rash starts.

Herpes zoster, or shingles, is a common condition; 20 percent of all those who have had chicken pox will get shingles, and 20 percent of those experience the disease in the eye. People at higher risk for the disease include the elderly, patients taking immunosuppressant drugs or those experiencing high stress. It may strike people of any age. The virus causing the disease, varicella zoster, can remain in the body and lie "dormant," reactivating years later in nerve cells. Factors such as stress, medications, illness and aging may prompt the reactivation.

"You can get chicken pox when you’re three years old, and it can come back when you’re 70," says Dr. Baratz. " Everyone who has shingles has had chicken pox before. Chicken pox usually is not a big deal; shingles is a big deal."

Herpes zoster most commonly occurs in the body’s trunk, but it also may spread along the ophthalmic portion of the fifth cranial nerve, affecting the eye. The symptoms manifest in one eye only, as shingles typically concentrate on one side of the body.

"It is very painful and can destroy your sight," says Dr. Baratz.

Lisa Copeland | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.mayo.edu/research/mir/topic_1029.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>