Overview of Systemic Candida Infections in Hospital Settings and Report of Candida After DMEK Successfully Treated With Antifungals and Partial Graft Excision

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Purpose:To report novel surgical and medical management of intraocular and corneal infection with Candida glabrata that manifested 3 months after Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) and to review demographic reasons for increasing fungal contamination of donor tissue.Methods:Demographics, donor rim cultures, diagnostic tests, management, clinical course, outcomes, and donor mate outcomes are reported for a fungal infection after DMEK.Results:The fungal infection was treated for 3 weeks with a combination of intracameral and intracorneal voriconazole and intracameral and topical amphotericin B (off-label use). After initial improvement, the infection appeared to spread to the posterior chamber and the cornea decompensated. Pars plana vitrectomy was performed, and the fungal plaque and underlying area of the graft (approximately 3 mm2 area) were excised with the vitrector. After surgical intervention, the voriconazole and amphotericin B injections were discontinued, and oral posaconazole was prescribed for 2 months (off-label use). This combination of surgical and medical management successfully cleared the infection. Surprisingly, corneal edema completely resolved, and central DMEK endothelial cell density was 2506 cells/mm2 1 month after discontinuing the antifungal injections, which apparently caused reversible endothelial toxicity.Conclusions:The incidence of nosocomial fungal infections, particularly non-albicans Candida, is increasing, as are the rates of positive fungal cultures from corneal donor tissue and postkeratoplasty fungal infections. Prospective studies are needed to assess the value of routine donor cultures, compare the safety and efficacy of various prophylactic treatments, and evaluate addition of antifungals to cold storage media.

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