Ocular abnormalities associated with congenital varicella are described in 3 children examined at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, London, England. The syndrome followed a maternal varicella infection during the second trimester of pregnancy. Ocular findings included chorioretinitis, atrophy and hypoplasia of optic discs, cataract, and Horner's syndrome. Neurological abnormalities included bulbar palsy, hemiparesis, learning difficulties, and psychomotor retardation. The authors stress that the ocular lesions may be subtle and routine ophthalmological evaluation in infants with the congenital varicella syndrome is advisable. [1]

COMMENT. Chorioretinal scarring occurs after intrauterine rubella, toxoplasmosis, syphilis, and less frequently with intrauterine herpes simplex and cytomegalovirus infections. Varicella chorioretinitis should be included in the differential diagnosis of congenital chorioretinal scarring. Optic nerve hypoplasia has not previously been reported in association with congenital varicella syndrome.