Spectrum of fungal keratitis at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cornea. 2000 May;19(3):307-12. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200005000-00010.


Purpose: To report the spectrum of fungal keratitis at Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia.

Methods: We reviewed the records of 24 cases of culture-positive fungal keratitis treated from January 1991 to March 1999 at Wills Eye Hospital. Risk factors, fungal identification, antifungal treatment, and outcomes were evaluated.

Results: The study included 24 eyes (24 patients). Fourteen patients (58.3%) were female. The mean age was 59 years (range, 19-86 years). Predisposing factors included chronic ocular surface disease (41.7%), contact lens wear (29.2%), atopic disease (16.7%), topical steroid use (16.7%), and ocular trauma (8.3%). Early identification of fungal elements was achieved by staining of corneal scrapings in 18 cases (75%). Half of the cases (12 eyes) had corneal infections caused by yeast, and the other half by filamentous fungi. Candida albicans was the most commonly isolated organism (45.8%), followed by Fusarium sp (25%). Natamycin and amphotericin B were the topical antifungals most frequently used, while systemic treatment commonly used included fluconazole, ketoconazole, or itraconazole. Six patients (25%) had penetrating keratoplasty during the acute stage of infection. After a mean follow-up of nine months, 13 eyes (54.1%) had the best corrected visual acuity 20/100 or better.

Conclusions: In contrast to other studies from the northern United States, we found Fusarium sp the most commonly isolated filamentous fungus. In our series, C. albicans was the most frequent cause of fungal keratitis, and a past history of ocular trauma was uncommon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cornea / microbiology
  • Corneal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Corneal Ulcer / epidemiology
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / epidemiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Special / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycoses / drug therapy
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / microbiology*
  • Ophthalmology / statistics & numerical data*
  • Pennsylvania
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antifungal Agents