Severe keratomycosis secondary to Scedosporium apiospermum

Cornea. 2002 Jul;21(5):516-8. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200207000-00015.


Purpose: To report an unusual case of severe keratomycosis caused by Scedosporium apiospermum without any known previous ocular injury, that resulted in a corneal perforation, which was treated with an emergency penetrating tectonic keratoplasty and later with phacoemulsification and astigmatic keratotomy to restore good visual function.

Methods: A 45-year-old woman with a history of multiple sclerosis presented with a severe and refractory corneal abscess in her right eye without any known prior injury. Corneal scrapings were obtained and stained for microscopic evaluation. The samples were sent for aerobic and anaerobic bacterial and fungal cultures.

Results: Microbiologic examination of the corneal scraping showed Scedosporium apiospermum micelle. The fungal culture was sensitive to miconazole, itraconazole and voriconazole. Partial clinical improvement was achieved with hourly topical natamycin, amphotericin B, and systemic itraconazole application, although in vitro sensitivity tests showed resistance to the topical antifungal agents used. A corneal paracentral perforation occurred despite aggressive treatment. An emergency eccentric penetrating keratoplasty was performed with satisfactory results. Subsequent phacoemulsification and astigmatic keratotomy restored a good visual function.

Conclusion: A fungal etiology should be suspected in a progressive and refractory corneal abscess. This report highlights the utility of microbiologic investigation to perform an early and accurate diagnosis. Aggressive medical treatment and even therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty to remove infected tissue could result in the maintenance of useful visual function. In view of the poor prognosis of this specific fungus, a closer observation and early keratoplasty might be required to preserve the ocular globe.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Abscess / diagnosis
  • Abscess / microbiology*
  • Abscess / surgery
  • Corneal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases / microbiology*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / surgery
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / diagnosis
  • Keratitis / microbiology
  • Keratitis / surgery
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycetoma / diagnosis
  • Mycetoma / microbiology*
  • Mycetoma / surgery
  • Scedosporium / isolation & purification*