Association Between Culture Results of Corneal Scrapings and Culture and Histopathology Results of Corneal Tissues in Therapeutic Keratoplasty

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Purpose:To correlate the culture results of corneal scrapings with culture and histopathology results of corneal tissues in therapeutic keratoplasty.Methods:A retrospective analysis of the culture results of corneal scrapings and corneal tissues of eyes that received therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty at a tertiary eye care center between December 2006 and November 2008 was conducted. As per the preferred practice, those cases that did not respond to appropriate antimicrobial therapy and/or presented with a large infiltrate/perforation received therapeutic keratoplasty. The microbiology and histopathology findings of the corneal tissues were compared.Results:Thirty-eight therapeutic keratoplasties were performed on 36 patients. Although all cases had histopathology and culture of the corneal tissue, corneal scrapings were not performed in 4 cases. Corneal scrapings and corneal tissues were culture-positive in 76% (26 of 34) and 60% (23 of 38) of cases, respectively. In 8 cases, the corneal scrapings and corneal tissues yielded identical organisms, whereas different organisms grew in 4 cases. In 6 cases, the corneal tissues were culture-positive but the corneal scrapings were sterile. In 20 cases, the corneal tissues were culture-positive for fungus and also showed fungal filaments in their corresponding histopathology specimens.Conclusions:Corneal tissue culture can provide additional information in cases undergoing therapeutic keratoplasty. It helps to determine the management of patients after keratoplasty.

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