Predisposing Factors, Clinical Presentations, and Outcomes of Contact Lens-Related Pythium Keratitis

Cornea. 2021 Nov 1;40(11):1413-1419. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002651.


Purpose: To describe predisposing factors, clinical presentations, and treatment outcomes of contact lens (CL)-related Pythium keratitis.

Methods: This was an 11-year retrospective study of CL-related Pythium keratitis conducted from 2009 to 2019. Six eyes of 6 patients were identified. Demographics, predisposing factors, CL history, clinical presentation, diagnostic tests, treatments, and outcomes were reviewed.

Results: Mean age of the patients was 34 years (SD 16.3 years) with equal proportion between male and female patients. Five of 6 patients (83.3%) used soft CL, whereas 1 patient used rigid gas permeable lens. All patients had a history of water contamination (tap water and water from river and sea). Mean duration from the onset was 7.8 days (range 4-14 days). Mean size of the corneal lesion was 3.33 mm (SD 1.31 mm) in width. The typical feature of tentacle-like lesions radiating in a reticular pattern was observed in all patients. Feathery edge (1 eye), satellite lesions (2 eyes), and radial keratoneuritis (2 eyes) were also found. Every patient received therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty because of failed medical treatments. One patient subsequently underwent enucleation. Globe salvage was achieved in 5 patients (83.33%).

Conclusions: Awareness of the history of water contamination, recognition of specific clinical features of Pythium keratitis, and performing surgical treatment are key for achieving globe salvage in patients with CL-related Pythium keratitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Causality
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic / adverse effects*
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic / microbiology
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / etiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / etiology*
  • Keratitis / microbiology
  • Keratitis / therapy
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / methods*
  • Male
  • Pythiosis / etiology*
  • Pythiosis / microbiology
  • Pythiosis / therapy
  • Pythium / isolation & purification*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents