Successful medical treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis

A. Azuara-Blanco, A.S. Sadiq, M. Hussain, J.H. Lloyd, H.S. Dua

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To describe the outcome of a series of Acanthamoeba keratitis treated with a similar regimen. Methods: All cases diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis in a referral centre from June 1994 through June 1997 were included. Diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis was based in clinical presentation and laboratory results. Positive laboratory identification of Acanthamoeba from corneal scraping or contact lens was required, unless the patient had very characteristic symptoms (severe pain) and signs of the infection, including perineural infiltrates. Initial intensive treatment included topical polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB) 0.02%, propamidine isothionate 0.1% and broad-spectrum antibiotics. The treatment was gradually tapered. After documented response to anti-acanthamoeba therapy, topical steroids were introduced; they were discontinued before cessation of the antiAcanthamoeba regimen. Results: Six males and four females, with a mean age of 30.0 ± 7.4 years were included in this study. All cases weared contact lenses. On presentation all cases had severe pain, and epitheliopathy was associated with stromal infiltrate in most (seven of ten) cases. Four patients had anterior uveitis. Perineural infiltrates were present in three cases and ring infiltrate in one patient. Anti-amoebic treatment was started 12.7 ± 7.2 days after beginning of symptoms. The clinical response to therapy was very satisfactory in all patients. Within two to three weeks all patients had remarkable lessening of pain and photophobia, and improvement of clinical signs. At two to three months, visual acuity had improved in all patients. Two patients required penetrating keratoplasty for visual rehabilitation. Conclusion: The use of PHMB and propamidine cured all cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis. Cautious introduction of steroids was associated with expedited resolution of inflammation and provided symptomatic relief.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-227
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Ophthalmology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 1997


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