Factors influencing predilection and outcome in bacterial keratitis

Cornea. 1989;8(2):115-21.


Complete records from 175 patients with 176 episodes of culture-proven bacterial keratitis treated over a 4-year period at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston were analyzed. Sixty-three percent of the infections involved gram-positive organisms, and 40% involved gram-negative organisms; 15% were polymicrobial. There was a high incidence of infection with Staphylococcus aureus (28%), coagulase-negative staphylococci (14%), diphtheroids (14%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (14%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (12%). Gram stain correlation was achieved in 55%. Potential predisposing factors, usually multiple, were identified in 97% of the patients. Fifty percent of the ulcers were associated with such iatrogenic factors as prior topical corticosteroid therapy, penetrating keratoplasty, and contact lens use. Trauma occurred in only 16%. Several statistically significant associations of epidemiologic factors and outcome variables were revealed. Ninety-five percent of the ulcers resolved with therapy, but only 44% of the patients had visual acuity better than the level at admission, and 13% developed major complications.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Bacterial Infections*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cornea / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Keratitis / etiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New England
  • Prognosis
  • Sex Factors
  • Visual Acuity