BMJ case reports 2018 03 212018() pii 10.1136/bcr-2017-222237
A retired woman with left ophthalmic shingles of over 2 years’ duration attended with bilateral vision loss and systemic upset. Acute retinal necrosis with detachment was detected on right fundus examination. Cataract in left eye precluded funduscopy. Ocular ultrasonography revealed fibrotic retinal detachment in the left eye. MRI brain and orbits also showed signals of retinal detachment. No abnormal MRI signal within the optic nerve or brain was found. Varicella zoster virus was detected in ocular aqueous and blood samples. High-dose intravenous acyclovir was administered. HIV test was positive with a very low CD4 count. Antiretroviral medications were prescribed. There was no recovery of vision. She was certified as blind, and social services were involved in seeking to provide alterations to her home in view of her severe disability. This case highlights the importance of suspecting HIV in patients with severe or chronic ophthalmic shingles. Images and implications for clinical practice are presented.