Corneal Cross-linking as an Adjunct for The Management of Refractory Fungal Keratitis

Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2021 Jan 19;27(4):204-209. doi: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_130_19. eCollection 2020 Oct-Dec.


PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV)-A/Riboflavin corneal cross-linking (CXL) for the treatment of the refractory cases of fungal keratitis.

METHODS: In this prospective interventional study, 9 patients with the diagnosis of fungal keratitis that were referred to our emergency eye center were included. These patients were resistant to conventional treatment and underwent therapeutic UV-A/Riboflavin CXL. Response to the treatment was considered as good if rapid epithelialization and rapid decrease in stromal infiltration was occurred after PACK-CXL, and poor when the emergency transplantation was necessary to eradicate the infection.

RESULTS: Nine patients treated with CXL due to recalcitrant fungal keratitis. Culture of the corneal scrapings showed Aspergillus species in 4 patients, Candida albicans in 1 patient and Fusarium species in the remainder of them. CXL was performed from 1 to 20 days after the presentation of corneal ulcers (Mean: 9.12 ± 4.02; range: 5-20 days). Postoperatively, the mean time to epithelialization was 14.25 ± 2.38 days, and mean time to resolution of stromal infiltration was 22.5 ± 7.29 days, in responsive cases. Four out of 9 eyes showed good response, and five patients showed no response, and corneal transplantation was performed to eradicate the infection. There was no statistically significant difference in mean depth of infiltration and mean size of ulcer between responsive and unresponsive patients (P = 0.86 and 0.08, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Although UV-A/Riboflavin CXL is not a definite treatment for all of the fungal keratitis, it seems promising in the management of some refractory cases.

PMID:33814816 | PMC:PMC7993049 | DOI:10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_130_19

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