Treatment of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis with 2% povidone-iodine: a pilot study

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Feb;28(1):53-8. doi: 10.1089/jop.2011.0082. Epub 2011 Sep 14.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the outcome of treating epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) with 2% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) solution.

Methods: A prospective, interventional, uncontrolled study was performed in participants diagnosed with EKC. PVP-I was applied to the affected eyes 4 times a day for a week. Participants were informed about transient eye stinging and discoloration after application. Drug discontinuation was allowed for early recovery or encountering any adverse effects. Data collection included history, symptoms, and signs at the initial presentation and at 1 week. Main outcomes were the recovery rate within a week of treatment and drug tolerability.

Results: Of 172 enrolled, 61 participants completed the study. EKC occurred bilaterally in 40 participants (66%). Single eye from each participant was included for analysis. The mean (standard deviation) time elapsed before treatment was 2.1 (1.46) days. The recovery rate within a week of treatment was 77% (95% confidence interval, 65.1-85.8). Twenty-eight participants (45.9%) recovered within a week after the onset. Application of PVP-I was sustained until recovery or completing a 7-day trial in 78.7%. No severe ocular or systemic adverse effects have been reported related to this treatment.

Conclusions: Ocular application of 2% PVP-I was tolerable. This measure successfully relieved ocular discomfort from EKC in 3 quarters of the study group within a week. A randomized, controlled trial is required to verify the benefit of this measure.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Ophthalmic
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / adverse effects
  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratoconjunctivitis / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • Povidone-Iodine / administration & dosage
  • Povidone-Iodine / adverse effects
  • Povidone-Iodine / therapeutic use*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Povidone-Iodine