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In vivo confocal microscopic features of naturally acquired canine herpesvirus-1 and feline herpesvirus-1 dendritic and punctate ulcerative keratitis

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  • 1 From the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.
  • | 2 From the Department Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) features of the corneal epithelium and stroma in dogs and cats with herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis.

ANIMALS

6 client-owned dogs and 10 client-owned cats with herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis (affected group) and 10 dogs and 10 cats from specific-pathogen-free laboratory colonies (nonaffected group).

PROCEDURES

After complete ophthalmic examination, IVCM corneal examination was performed on the clinically diseased eyes of animals in the affected group and on both eyes of animals in the nonaffected group. Results by species were compared between groups.

RESULTS

In the affected group, all 6 dogs had unilateral ocular lesions (total, 6 eyes examined), whereas 7 cats had unilateral lesions and 3 cats had bilateral lesions (total, 13 eyes examined). For the nonaffected group, 20 cat eyes and 20 dog eyes were examined. Corneal epithelial morphological abnormalities were identified in all examined eyes of animals in the affected group and in no examined eyes of the nonaffected group. Hyperreflective punctate opacities and inflammatory cells were present in all epithelial layers in examined eyes of affected animals but were absent in nonaffected animals. Similarly, Langerhans cells and anterior stromal dendritic cells were identified in corneas of eyes examined for animals in the affected group but not in any eye of animals in the nonaffected group. Stromal changes were less consistent in the affected group, but absent in the nonaffected group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis in dogs and cats is associated with microanatomic corneal abnormalities that can be detected by IVCM.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To describe the in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) features of the corneal epithelium and stroma in dogs and cats with herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis.

ANIMALS

6 client-owned dogs and 10 client-owned cats with herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis (affected group) and 10 dogs and 10 cats from specific-pathogen-free laboratory colonies (nonaffected group).

PROCEDURES

After complete ophthalmic examination, IVCM corneal examination was performed on the clinically diseased eyes of animals in the affected group and on both eyes of animals in the nonaffected group. Results by species were compared between groups.

RESULTS

In the affected group, all 6 dogs had unilateral ocular lesions (total, 6 eyes examined), whereas 7 cats had unilateral lesions and 3 cats had bilateral lesions (total, 13 eyes examined). For the nonaffected group, 20 cat eyes and 20 dog eyes were examined. Corneal epithelial morphological abnormalities were identified in all examined eyes of animals in the affected group and in no examined eyes of the nonaffected group. Hyperreflective punctate opacities and inflammatory cells were present in all epithelial layers in examined eyes of affected animals but were absent in nonaffected animals. Similarly, Langerhans cells and anterior stromal dendritic cells were identified in corneas of eyes examined for animals in the affected group but not in any eye of animals in the nonaffected group. Stromal changes were less consistent in the affected group, but absent in the nonaffected group.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that herpetic dendritic ulcerative keratitis in dogs and cats is associated with microanatomic corneal abnormalities that can be detected by IVCM.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. Ledbetter (ecl32@cornell.edu).