Infectious keratitis: A review.
Globally, infectious keratitis is the fifth leading cause of blindness. The main predisposing factors include contact lens wear, ocular injury and ocular surface disease. Staphylococcus species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Fusarium species, Candida species and Acanthamoeba species are the most common causal organisms. Culture of corneal scrapes is the preferred initial test to identify the culprit organism. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and in vivo confocal microscopy can complement the diagnosis. Empiric therapy is typically commenced with fluoroquinolones, or fortified antibiotics for bacterial keratitis; topical natamycin for fungal keratitis; and polyhexamethylene biguanide or chlorhexidine for acanthamoeba keratitis. Herpes simplex keratitis is mainly diagnosed clinically; however, PCR can also be used to confirm the initial diagnosis and in atypical cases. Antivirals and topical corticosteroids are indicated depending on the corneal layer infected. Vision impairment, blindness and even loss of the eye can occur with a delay in diagnosis and inappropriate antimicrobial therapy.
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