Treatment for Epstein-Barr Virus-associated uveitis confirmed by polymerase chain reaction: Efficacy of Anti-Viral Agents and a literature review

Date Published:

2022 Feb


BACKGROUND: There are still many research challenges and unanswered questions in relation to Epstein-Barr virus-associated uveitis. These include the presence of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) DNA in asymptomatic patients, its pathogenicity in the uveitis eye, and the role of antiviral therapy for EBV-associated intraocular inflammation. METHODS: This was a retrospective review of prospectively collected data from the Ophthalmology Department, Rajavithi Hospital between 2015 and 2020. A qualitative assay using multiplex real-time PCR was performed to detect pathogen genes from specimens obtained from a total of 344 patients. The main outcome measure was treatment success defined by clinical improvement and absence of viral DNA confirmed by PCR. RESULTS: Of the 35 cases, 24 with complete data were enrolled in the study, including 22 with post-treatment PCR results. Sixty-seven percent were HIV-infected, and other plausible causes or coinfection with other pathogens were found in 75% of patients. Cytomegalovirus (38%) was the most common co-infecting pathogen. The most commonly employed regimen was a combination of systemic acyclovir and intravitreal ganciclovir injection (58%). Of the 22 cases who had post-treatment PCR results, absence of detection of the virus by PCR in the intraocular fluid after treatment was demonstrated in 73% of patients. CONCLUSION: Patients with EBV infection can be simultaneously co-infected with other pathogens. Systemic acyclovir and ganciclovir achieved clinical improvement in most cases, and EBV infection was cured in the majority of patients.

Last updated on 02/27/2022