Home About us Editorial board Ahead of print Current issue Search Archives Submit article Instructions Subscribe Contacts Login 
  • Users Online: 382
  • Home
  • Print this page
  • Email this page

   Table of Contents      
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 1955-1956

Progressive outer retinal necrosis: Dual virus involvement

Advanced Eye Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Date of Submission03-Jan-2020
Date of Acceptance19-May-2020
Date of Web Publication20-Aug-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ramandeep Singh
Professor, Advanced Eye Centre, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_11_20

Rights and Permissions

Keywords: Cytomegalovirus, dual, Herpes zoster retinitis, progressive outer retinal necrosis, varicella-zoster virus

How to cite this article:
Moharana B, Tekchandani U, Sharma SP, Kumar A, Singh R. Progressive outer retinal necrosis: Dual virus involvement. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:1955-6

How to cite this URL:
Moharana B, Tekchandani U, Sharma SP, Kumar A, Singh R. Progressive outer retinal necrosis: Dual virus involvement. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 22];68:1955-6. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/9/1955/292506

A 17-year-old male, newly diagnosed with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection [on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART)], presented to our uveitis clinic with a 4-week history of gradual, painless loss of vision in the left eye (OS). He was being treated with oral valganciclovir and intravitreal ganciclovir injection elsewhere for presumptive diagnosis of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis. General physical examination revealed multiple healed facial lesions on the left side of the face having a classical dermatomal distribution suggestive of a previous attack of Herpes Zoster dermatitis [[Figure 1]a, black arrows]. His CD4+ T cell count was 61 cells/microliter. Ophthalmologic examination revealed visual acuity of hand motions in OS and 20/20 in OD. Fundus evaluation of OS showed minimal vitreous cells, retinitis with classic 'cracked mud' appearance [Figure 1]b. The spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) showed the destruction of all retinal layers which appear as a single hyperreflective structure [[Figure 1]c, yellow star], with hyporeflective areas at the level of outer retinal layers [[Figure 1]c, yellow arrow]. The diagnosis was revised to progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN).
Figure 1: Photograph of the patient showing multiple healed Herpes Zoster dermatitis lesions on left side of face. The scars have a classical dermatomal distribution (black arrows) (a); Wide angle fundus pictures of left eye at presentation showing multiple opaque yellowish-white lesions all over the fundus with sparing of the retinal vessels giving ‘cracked mud’ appearance (b); Optical coherence tomography image showing distorted architecture affecting all retinal layers which appears as a single hyper-reflective structure (yellow star), with optically empty spaces at the level of the outer nuclear layer (yellow arrow). Posterior hyaloid appears thickened with minimal vitritis (c)

Click here to view

Viral polymerase chain reaction (PCR) from vitreous fluid showed positivity for both CMV and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Real-time PCR (RT-PCR) using the TaqMan probe was done on the vitreous sample [Figure 2]a and [Figure 2]b. The PCR kit used was in vitro diagnostic (IVD) approved CMV R-GENE® and HSV1&2 VZV R-GENE® (BioMérieux S.A, France) on RT- PCR system. The viral load as determined by PCR were 4 × 105 copies/ml for CMV and 5 × 104 copies/ml for VZV. Treatment was revised to weekly ganciclovir intravitreal injections (2 mg/0.05 ml) and oral valaciclovir (1 gm three times daily). A significant response was noted within 2 weeks after starting treatment [[Figure 3]a, green arrows]. Five ganciclovir intravitreal injections (2 mg/0.05 ml) were given at weekly intervals. The patient was continued with oral valaciclovir (1 gm three times daily). He was lost to follow-up after 3 months. At the last follow-up, retinitis was healing significantly leaving behind extensively atrophic retina [[Figure 3]b, black arrow], best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was perception of light (PL+) with inaccurate projection of rays (PR). Retinal detachment was not seen. The right eye was normal. CD4 count had decreased to 55 cells/microliter.
Figure 2: The graph showing the amplification curve obtained from the real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The blue line corresponds to CMV whereas the orange one corresponds to VZV. An increase in fluorescence after multiple amplification cycles denotes the presence of the viral genes in the sample (a); The flat lines denote the control arm. 6-Carboxyfluorescein (FAM) dye was used to detect any fluorescent activity. The flat lines indicate the absence of significant fluorescent activity (b)

Click here to view
Figure 3: Wide-angle fundus photograph at 2 weeks follow-up showing atrophic retina due to healing of retinitis lesions (green arrows) and disc pallor (a). At 3 months follow-up, retinitis has healed significantly leaving behind extensive areas of atrophic retina (black arrow, b)

Click here to view

  Discussion Top

PORN is a VZV retinopathy seen in severely immunocompromised patients usually in acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) patients.[1] The lesions involve outer retinal layers in the early stage, progress quickly to involve all retinal layers.[2] There is minimal or no intraocular inflammation present. Perivascular sparing gives a typical 'cracked mud' appearance.[3] VZV is the main causative organism though Wong et al.[4] have reported both HSV and CMV being associated with PORN. We report a PCR proven case of PORN with dual viral positivity.

Patients with HIV are prone to multiple infections. Our patient was positive for both CMV and VZV proved by highly specific RT-PCR. The clinical picture was classical of PORN. After modification of treatment according to the PCR report, the patient responded well with the resolution of retinitis lesions.


We would like to acknowledge Mr. Arun Kapil for his skills in obtaining ophthalmic images.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Holland GN. The progressive outer retinal necrosis syndrome. Int Ophthalmol 1994;18:163-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
Ittner EA, Bhakhri R, Newman T. Necrotising herpetic retinopathies: A review and progressive outer retinal necrosis case report. Clin Exp Optom 2016;99:24-9.  Back to cited text no. 2
Austin RB. Progressive outer retinal necrosis syndrome: A comprehensive review of its clinical presentation, relationship to immune system status, and management. Clin Eye Vis Care 2000;12:119-29.  Back to cited text no. 3
Wong RW, Jumper JM, McDonald HR, Johnson RN, Fu A, Lujan BJ, et al. Emerging concepts in the management of acute retinal necrosis. Br J Ophthalmol 2013;97:545-52.  Back to cited text no. 4


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


    Similar in PUBMED
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
Article Figures

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded52    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal