Background: Inflammatory scleral disease is frequently associated with autoimmune disorders and only occasionally caused directly by an infective agent. Fungal infections primarily involving the sclera are rare, and the outcome is generally poor. Here we report three patients with post-operative Aspergillus scleritis who were successfully managed by medical therapy and surgical intervention.
Patients: Scleral infection with Aspergillus sp. was diagnosed 6 and 5 months after cataract extraction in a 76-year-old diabetic and an 82-year-old woman respectively, and in a 54-year-old man 3 months after trabeculectomy. Swabs and/or scrapings had not been conclusive and the diagnosis of Aspergillus infection was established in all cases only after scleral biopsy.
Results: The infection was eliminated in all cases. This was achieved in one eye by treatment with systemic and topical amphotericin B. The two patients with fungal scleritis after cataract extraction required in addition to the medical therapy (oral itraconazole, topical econazole and amphotericin B) scleral excisions and patch grafts to control infection.
Conclusion: Fungal scleritis may remain undiagnosed for months. A scleral biopsy may be necessary to establish this diagnosis. Prolonged systemic antifungal therapy alone may not eradicate fungal infection. Surgical excision improves the outcome of fungal scleritis.