Epstein-Barr virus and acute retinal necrosis in a 5-year-old immunocompetent child


To describe a case of bilateral acute retinal necrosis syndrome (ARNS) in a 5-year-old boy.


A retrospective, interventional case is described in one child attending the pediatric ophthalmology section, complaining of sudden bilateral red eye and haze-impaired vision. A standardized ophthalmologic examination and specific serological probes supported the diagnosis of severe bilateral ARNS in an immunocompetent child.


The reduced visual acuity (<20/400), the ocular fundus signs (perivasculitis, thrombosis and retinal edema) and the positive immunoglobulin M anti-Epstein Barr virus serology, lead us to the ARNS definitive diagnosis. Antiviral therapy (Acyclovir; Zovirax®), ciclopentolate dilating eye drops, and antiplatelet treatment (acetil salicylic acid; Aspirin®) were administered until recovering the final visual acuity (20/40).


The ARNS is an ocular disease with poor prognosis, which in turns may display better course when determining the etiopathogenic virus and selecting the appropriate and precocious therapy.