Microsporidium stromal keratitis: in vivo confocal findings

Cornea. 2007 Aug;26(7):870-3. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31806c7a3c.


Purpose: To relate the clinical signs, histopathologic features, and in vivo confocal biomicroscopy findings of a case of stromal microsporidial keratitis and to describe the use of in vivo confocal microscopy to monitor treatment effect.

Methods: An immunocompetent male patient presented with unilateral indolent stromal keratitis. Stromal microsporidiosis was confirmed after corneal biopsy. He underwent examination that used in vivo confocal microscopy (Heidelberg Retina Tomograph II and Rostock Cornea Module) before and after treatment with topical fumagillin and oral albendazole. Clinicopathologic correlation of the confocal scan was performed.

Results: Corneal biopsy showed extracellular microsporidium spores aligned along keratocytes and corneal lamellae. In vivo confocal scans showed similar morphology, with bright dots aligned along keratocytes. Treatment with antimicrobials and topical steroid gave resolution of active keratitis, correlating with disappearance of the bright spores on repeat in vivo confocal scanning.

Conclusions: The in vivo confocal microscopy appearance of microsporidial keratitis corresponds to the histologic features from biopsy material. Treatment response may be monitored by using this technique, although definitive diagnosis requires corneal biopsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Albendazole / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Corneal Stroma / microbiology
  • Corneal Stroma / pathology*
  • Corneal Ulcer / diagnosis*
  • Corneal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology
  • Cyclohexanes / therapeutic use
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / diagnosis*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal*
  • Microsporidia, Unclassified / isolation & purification*
  • Microsporidiosis / diagnosis*
  • Microsporidiosis / drug therapy
  • Microsporidiosis / microbiology
  • Sesquiterpenes / therapeutic use


  • Antifungal Agents
  • Cyclohexanes
  • Fatty Acids, Unsaturated
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • fumagillin
  • Albendazole