Acute retinal necrosis (ARN) syndrome usually occurs as the result of secondary reactivation of latent, previously acquired, varicella-zoster or herpes simplex virus. The authors report four patients who developed a mild form of ARN within 1 month (5 to 28 days) after the onset of chickenpox. In contrast to typical cases of ARN, these cases were less severe, with retinitis limited to two quadrants or less (three patients), no retinal detachment (four patients), minimal vitreitis (four patients), and no loss of visual acuity (four patients). Thus, ARN may occur during the course of primary varicella-zoster infection.
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