Purpose: To investigate the number of patient visits to ophthalmologists in the United States that are associated with ocular toxoplasmosis, and to assess ophthalmologists' knowledge and treatment practices with regard to the disease.
Design: Written survey.
Methods: A random sample of 1000 US ophthalmologists was surveyed by mail in early 2002 by a questionnaire that was developed to collect information about physician demographics, and with regard to toxoplasmosis, number of patients seen, management practices, and knowledge about pathogenesis and risk factors.
Results: Among 478 respondents (48%), 261 (55%) indicated that they had seen one or more patients thought to have active toxoplasmic retinochoroiditis in the prior 2 years, and 445 (93%) indicated that they had seen one or more patients with inactive retinochoroidal scars thought to be inactive toxoplasmosis in the prior 2 years. There was a diversity of opinions regarding topics, including the timing of infection and risk factors for ocular involvement. Many ophthalmologists expressed uncertainty about questions regarding the disease.
Conclusions: Ocular toxoplasmosis is associated with a substantial number of patient visits in the United States each year. A variable understanding of the disease indicates a need for continuing medical education regarding ocular toxoplasmosis.