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The aim of this study was to describe a case of corneal involvement as an early manifestation of ocular disease in the 2022 human mpox (monkeypox) virus outbreak. This is a single case report with longitudinal care. A 47-year-old immunocompetent man presented with viral conjunctivitis before development of skin lesions or systemic symptoms. Subsequently, he developed membranous keratoconjunctivitis and a corneal epithelial defect. Orthopoxvirus-positive polymerase chain reaction test from his ocular surface was positive. The epithelial defect did not heal with conservative treatment but was successfully treated with amniotic membrane transplantation over 8 days. Reduced corneal sensation was noted after epithelial healing, and polymerase chain reaction from the ocular surface remained positive at 17 days from symptom onset, with slowly recovering conjunctivitis at 21 days. Continued membrane formation required repeated removal but significantly improved with topical corticosteroid treatment after epithelial healing by 29 days of symptom onset. Corneal sensation normalized by 87 days from symptom onset at which time symblepharon were noted but PCR testing from the ocular surface was negative. Early corneal involvement of human monkeypox virus is possible. Transient corneal hypoesthesia may be due to acute inflammation. Chronic inflammatory changes can result in symblepharon. These findings have potential implications in patient care and corneal donation. Copyright © 2023 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.


Ogul E Uner, Donald C Hubbard, Carlos Torres-Quinones, Roma Pegany, Lingling Huang, Momoko K Ponsetto, Miles Fletcher, Monica K Sikka, Afshan Nanji, Travis K Redd, Richard D Stutzman, Winston Chamberlain, Donna H Kim. Human MPox (Monkeypox) Virus Membranous Keratoconjunctivitis With Transient Corneal Hypoesthesia and Late Symblepharon Formation: A Novel Case and Clinical Implications. Cornea. 2023 Jun 01;42(6):751-754

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PMID: 36728311

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