Varicella Zoster Virus Necrotizing Retinitis in Two Patients with Idiopathic CD4 Lymphocytopenia

Meenakashi Gupta, Maria Stephanie R. Jardeleza, Ivana Kim, Marlene L. Durand, Leo Kim, Ann Marie Lobo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Progressive outer retinal necrosis (PORN) associated with varicella zoster virus (VZV) is usually diagnosed in HIV positive or immunosuppressed patients. We report two cases of immunocompetent patients with necrotizing viral retinitis found to have idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia. Methods: Clinical presentation, examination, imaging, and laboratory testing of two patients with VZV retinitis are presented. Results: An HIV negative patient with history of herpes zoster presented with rapid loss of vision and examination consistent with PORN. PCR testing confirmed VZV. Lymphocytopenia was noted with a CD4 count of 25/mm3. A second HIV negative patient presented with blurred vision and lid swelling and was found to have peripheral VZV retinitis confirmed by PCR. Laboratory workup revealed lymphocytopenia with a CD4 count of 133/mm3. Conclusions: VZV necrotizing retinitis classic for PORN can occur in HIV negative patients. Idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia should be considered healthy patients who develop ocular infections seen in the immunocompromised.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)544-548
Number of pages5
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Herpetic retinopathy
  • idiopathic CD4 lymphocytopenia
  • immunosuppression
  • progressive outer retinal necrosis


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