Presumed Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus Reactivation Following Recombinant Zoster Vaccination

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PURPOSE: To report a case of herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO) reactivation after recombinant zoster vaccination. METHODS: A 78-year-old woman, with a history of HZO 20 years ago, was referred for progressive corneal thinning in her left eye that started 1 week after her second dose of recombinant zoster vaccination. RESULTS: At presentation, visual acuity was counting fingers. Corneal sensation was markedly decreased. Slit lamp examination revealed a temporal paracentral epithelial defect 1.5 × 2.0 mm in size with 40% thinning and surrounding stromal inflammation suggestive of stromal keratitis with ulceration. The patient was started on oral valacyclovir, topical erythromycin ointment, and hourly topical lubrication. A bandage contact lens was placed and was replaced 1 week later with self-retained cryopreserved amniotic membrane ring. The ring was removed in the following week when the thinned area was epithelialized with no further evidence of stromal lysis. CONCLUSIONS: HZO reactivation after recombinant zoster vaccination is uncommon but possible. Ophthalmologists should remain aware of potential risks of zoster vaccination and take special precautions in patients with HZO history.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-250
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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