Acanthamoeba keratitis. A masquerade of presentation in six cases

Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1993 Nov;21(4):237-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.1993.tb00962.x.


Acanthamoeba keratitis is an uncommon but devastating complication of contact lens wear causing significant ocular morbidity. Six consecutive cases occurring in Western Australia in an 18-month period are reported. In all cases either poor contact lens hygiene or an association with swimming pools and contact lens use is a feature. There is invariably a delay in making the diagnosis, with the appearance frequently mistaken for herpes simplex keratitis. In all cases corneal biopsy was required to confirm the diagnosis. Of the six patients, four responded to medical therapy alone, one required a corneal graft and one required enucleation. We suggest that earlier rather than later corneal biopsy is important in unresponsive cases of culture-negative keratitis, especially in contact lens wearers. We would agree that the treatment of choice is intensive topical propamidine and neosporin. Prevention by strict adherence to contact lens care and hygiene is urged.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / etiology*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / pathology*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / therapy
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Bacitracin / therapeutic use
  • Benzamidines / therapeutic use
  • Contact Lenses, Hydrophilic / adverse effects*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Disposable Equipment
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / diagnosis
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neomycin / therapeutic use
  • Polymyxin B / therapeutic use
  • Risk Factors


  • Benzamidines
  • Drug Combinations
  • Bacitracin
  • bacitracin zinc, neomycin sulfate, polymyxin B, drug combination
  • propamidine
  • Neomycin
  • Polymyxin B