Persistent Impairment of Quality of Life in Patients with Herpes Simplex Keratitis

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Purpose To evaluate the quality of life (QoL) in patients with quiescent herpes simplex keratitis compared with control patients without ocular herpes. Design Prospective, case-control study. Participants Thirty-three patients with a unilateral and relapsing herpes simplex keratitis (HSK group) that was quiescent during evaluation (no acute episode in the past 3 months) and 66 patients with no history of HSK (control group). Both groups were age and gender matched. Methods Three previously validated QoL questionnaires were used in this study: the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25 (NEI VFQ-25), Glaucoma Quality of Life 17 (Glau-QoL17) questionnaire, and Ocular Surface Disease Quality of Life (OSD-QoL) questionnaire. Each questionnaire covered various aspects of the disease. Main Outcome Measures The outcomes of the 3 questionnaires were compared between groups. For the HSK group, the results were correlated to the clinical findings and the history of herpetic disease. Results The mean total questionnaire scores of the 3 QoL questionnaires were significantly lower in the HSK group compared with controls (NEI VFQ-25: 70.5±3.8 vs. 91.1±0.8, P < 0.0001; Glau-QoL17: 68.2±3.1 vs. 87.9±1.0, P < 0.0001; and OSD-QoL: 65.4±2.9 vs. 93.1±0.6, P < 0.0001, respectively). In the HSK group, the level of visual acuity (VA) in the affected eye had the greatest impact on QoL, inducing lower QoL results related to “general vision,” “distance activities,” “dependency,” “peripheral vision,” “self-image,” “daily living,” and “driving” dimensions. Decreased VA in the unaffected eye also negatively affected “self-image” and “driving” results. Patients with frequent HSK relapses had lower QoL related to “ocular pain” and “acknowledgement.” Conclusions Even during a quiescent phase of the disease, unilateral and relapsing HSK significantly impairs the QoL of patients to a similar level as most sight-threatening diseases. The decrease of VA has the greatest overall effect, but other factors also significantly affect QoL, such as the frequency of relapses.




Reynaud, C., Rousseau, A., Kaswin, G., M’garrech, M., Barreau, E., & Labetoulle, M. (2017). Persistent Impairment of Quality of Life in Patients with Herpes Simplex Keratitis. In Ophthalmology (Vol. 124, pp. 160–169). Elsevier Inc.

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