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M. Labetoulle, S. Bouée, P. Auquier, H. Conrad, A. Crochard, M. Daniloski, D. Vallée, J. Colin; Incidence of Herpes simplex virus keratitis in a developed western European country (France) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):1634.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To determine the incidence and the clinical settings of Herpes simplex keratitis in a developed western European country (France). Methods: Data were obtained from a national multicenter survey on herpetic ocular disease from September to November 2002. A randomly selected sample of 406 ophthalmologists, representative of the 5471 French ophthalmologists in term of sex, geographic distribution and clinical practice (chi2 test, p>0.2), prospectively reported all the events of herpes simplex keratitis they diagnosed during the 3–month study period. Data were anonymously recorded and the returned questionnaires were blind–controlled to verify that clinical settings were consistent with the diagnosis of herpes keratitis. Results: The 406 ophthalmologists reported 357 events of herpes keratitis. Thus, the estimated incidence of herpetic keratitis within the French population during the study–period was 32 per 100 000 person–years (95% confidence interval [28.7; 35.3]), among which 13.4 per 100 000 person–years for new cases (95%CI: [11.3 – 15.6]) and 18.6 per 100 000 person–years for recurrences (95%CI: [16.0 – 21.1]). The most frequent clinical settings were a dendritic keratitis (56.3%), a stromal keratitis (29.8%) and a geographic keratitis (9.9%). Other ocular lesions were associated to the keratitis in 35.0% of cases. The most frequent were a conjunctivitis (18.8%), a uveitis (11.8%) and/or a lid involvement (8.6%). Conclusions: This prospective epidemiological survey provides the incidence of herpes keratitis in a developed western country (France) with an estimation of 32 per 100 000 person–years, and supplies information on the clinical settings of the disease. The last study of the same scale, performed 20 years ago by Liesegang et al (Arch.Ophthalmol. 1989), indicated 15.6 herpes keratitis events per 100 000 person–years. Thus, the incidence of this potentially sight–threatening disease is at least stable, if not increasing over years. This highlights the need to pursue health care and research programs to improve the coverage of ocular herpetic disease
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