Atopic keratoconjunctivitis: A diagnostic dilemma—a case report

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Atopic keratoconjunctivitis (AKC) remains a difficult diagnosis despite advances in imaging technologies. This is a case study of the diagnostic and treatment course for a patient with AKC.

Patient concerns:

A 15-year-old male complained of progressively increasing pain, redness, watering and blurred vision in the right eye. The medical history showed that the patient suffered from itching on the hands, knees, neck and the eye skin one year before the onset of initial symptoms in the affected eye.


A final diagnosis of stage III AKC with atopic dermatitis (AD) was reached.


The patient was used 0.1% tacrolimus eye drops and 0.3% gatifloxacin eye gel after antimicrobial susceptibility test was performed. In the presence of AD, 0.1% mometasone furoate cream and 0.03% tacrolimus ointment were applied twice daily.


One month after starting treatment, the conjunctivitis and corneal ulcer rapidly improved along with reduced lid papillae. Macular grade corneal opacity was noticed with minimal thinning. The AD also rapidly improved. At the end of two months patient was asymptomatic with a significant improvement in his quality of life.


Proper diagnosis of AKC especially when associated with dermatological signs along with management of AD in conjunction with dermatologist is necessary to prevent corneal involvement which can cause permanent visual disability is of utmost importance. We also noticed that topical tacrolimus is a good option for the treatment of severe AKC with AD along with systemic immunosupressants.

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