Ulcerative keratitis in contact lens wearers.Eye Contact Lens. 2003 Oct; 29(4):207-9.EC
To determine the clinical microbiological characteristics of corneal ulcers in contact lens wearers.
A retrospective study of 23 patients admitted to our department with contact lens-related corneal ulcers during a 43-month period. Detailed demographic data, the type of contact lens, duration of lens wear, and wearing schedule were derived from a self-administered questionnaire. The severity of the ulcer; cultures of corneal scrapings, storage solutions, and contact lenses; treatment; and final outcome were evaluated.
Of the 86 cases of ulcerative keratitis admitted during the study period, 23 (26.74%) were attributed to contact lens use. Most patients were young women from urban areas. All of them were using soft contact lenses for 3 days to 20 years. Five patients used daily-wear lenses as extended-wear lenses. Most ulcers (47.82%) were mild; 30.43% were moderate; and 21.47% were severe. Corneal scrapings for cultures were obtained in 15 of the cases and were positive in 10 (43.47%) of them, whereas in 33.33% of the culture-positive storage solutions and in 66.67% of the culture-positive contact lenses, corneal scrapings were negative. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the most frequent isolated pathogen (60%). The final visual acuity was 20/40 or better in 60.87% of the cases.
Contact lens use is an important risk factor for the development of ulcerative keratitis, with P. aeruginosa remaining the predominant pathogen. It seems important to culture contact lenses and contact lens storage solutions, in addition to the corneal scrapings, and the role of initial therapy for the corneal ulcers remains important.