To produce a two-dimensional reconstruction map of dendritic lesions in patients with herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) using in vivo confocal microscopy.
Four eyes of four patients (mean 65.8 years) with HSK presenting with a dendritic lesion were enrolled. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy and in vivo laser confocal microscopy were performed. Acquired confocal images at the level of the epithelium were arranged and mapped into subconfluent montages. Changes in the shape and degree of light reflection of abnormal cells and deposits around dendritic lesions as well as other corneal layers were qualitatively evaluated.
Mapping of dendritic lesion was successful in all cases, and the subconfluent montages clearly showed the larger image of dendritic lesion. In all cases, the dendritic lesion consisted of hyperreflective irregular epithelial cells, and was surrounded by distorted and elongated epithelial cells. In three cases, hyperreflective deposits were noted at the midline of the lesion. The corneal stroma showed a hyperreflective honeycomb pattern. In two cases, inflammatory cells were observed at the level of endothelial cell layer.
Mapping of dendritic lesions in patients with HSK was successful in all patients using in vivo confocal microscopy. Cellular level observation of dendritic lesion at a relatively larger magnification may help understand the in vivo morphological change of HSK. Further study in more patients with HSK and nonherpetic dendritic lesion is needed to utilize confocal microscopy images in differential diagnosis and follow-up of the epithelial lesions with dendrite.