Corneal bee sting misdiagnosed as viral keratitis

Cornea. 2007 Dec;26(10):1277-8. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31814b8bae.


Purpose: To report a case of chronic keratouveitis caused by a missed bee sting injury.

Methods: A 17-year-old boy was referred for management of unresponsive viral keratouveitis. Ocular examination revealed corneal edema and scarring, atrophic patches on the iris, and anterior polar cataracts. Surprisingly, examination also revealed a retained intracorneal bee stinger. A retrospective inquiry confirmed a bee sting injury 2 years ago.

Results: The patient was started on medical treatment and underwent operative removal of the bee stinger. Postsurgery, visual acuity improved, and the corneal edema regressed over a 1-month follow-up.

Conclusions: In cases of chronic keratouveitis, a meticulous examination is mandatory to rule out unusual causes like a retained corneal bee stinger. A retained intracorneal bee stinger may result in long-term corneal inflammation, which may not be controlled adequately with topical steroids. It should be removed, irrespective of the duration since the injury.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Animals
  • Bees*
  • Corneal Injuries*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / complications
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / diagnosis*
  • Eye Foreign Bodies / surgery
  • Humans
  • Insect Bites and Stings / complications
  • Insect Bites and Stings / diagnosis*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / surgery
  • Keratitis / diagnosis*
  • Keratitis / etiology
  • Male
  • Virus Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Virus Diseases / etiology