Author(s): Thomas PA, Leck AK, Myatt M
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Abstract AIM: To assess whether the presence of characteristic clinical features can be used as a diagnostic aid for suppurative keratitis caused by filamentous fungi. METHODS: Patients presenting with suppurative keratitis in India underwent detailed clinical examination followed by microbiological investigation of corneal scrapes. A partial diagnostic score based upon the strength of the association, as estimated by the odds ratio, between reported clinical features and laboratory confirmed diagnoses was devised and subsequently tested using a case series from Ghana. RESULTS: Serrated margins, raised slough, dry texture, satellite lesions and coloration other than yellow occurred more frequently in cases of filamentous fungal keratitis than bacterial keratitis (p<0.05). Hypopyon and fibrinous exudate were observed more frequently in bacterial keratitis (p<0.05). When incorporated into a backwards stepwise logisitic regression model only serrated margins, raised slough, and colour were independently associated with fungal keratitis; these features were used in the scoring system. The probability of fungal infection if one clinical feature was present was 63\%, increasing to 83\% if all three features were present. CONCLUSIONS: Microbiological investigations should be performed whenever possible; however, where facilities are not available, a rapid presumptive diagnosis of suppurative keratitis may be possible by scoring clinical features.
This article was published in Br J Ophthalmol
and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology