The authors have isolated herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) from the vitreous of two patients with acute retinal necrosis. Clinical and laboratory data suggest that one case represented a primary HSV-1 infection, whereas the other case appeared to be a recurrent HSV-1 infection. In the primary case, changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggest spread of the virus posteriorly to both optic tracts and the lateral geniculate ganglia. This case shares many features with the 'von Szily' expermental model for HSV retinitis in the mouse.
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