Predictors of Corneal Perforation or Need for Therapeutic Keratoplasty in Severe Fungal Keratitis: A Secondary Analysis of the Mycotic Ulcer Treatment Trial II

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Abstract

Importance

Identifying patients with infectious keratitis who are at risk of experiencing a poor outcome may be useful to allocate resources toward high-risk patients, particularly in resource-poor settings.

Objective

To determine baseline patient and ulcer characteristics that predict a high risk of developing corneal perforation and/or the need to undergo therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty (TPK).

Design, Setting, and Participants

This is a secondary analysis of Mycotic Ulcer Treatment Trial II, a multicenter, double-masked, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial that enrolled 240 patients with smear-positive filamentous fungal corneal ulcers who enrolled between May 2010 and August 2015. Participants had a baseline visual acuity of 20/400 or worse and were randomized to receive oral voriconazole or a placebo (all participants received topical voriconazole, 1%). After 39 participants (16.3%) were enrolled, topical natamycin, 5%, was also added.

Main Outcomes and Measures

The primary outcome of this secondary analysis was the rate of corneal perforation or the need to undergo TPK.

Results

The mean (SD) age at enrollment was 49 (13) years, 104 participants (43.3%) were women, and all were of Southeast Asian descent. The presence of hypopyon at baseline indicated 2.28 times the odds of the patient developing corneal perforation and/or needing TPK (95% CI, 1.18-4.40; P = .01). Study participants whose infiltrate involved the posterior one-third had a 71.4% risk of developing corneal perforation and/or needing TPK. For each 1-mm increase in the geometric mean of the infiltrate, there was 1.37 (95% CI, 1.12-1.67; P = .002) increased odds of developing perforation and/or needing TPK. Other clinical features such as visual acuity, baseline culture positivity, type of filamentous fungal organism and duration of symptoms, and demographic characteristics, such as sex and occupation, were not significant predictors in the multivariable regression analysis.

Conclusions and Relevance

These results suggest that risk stratification from baseline ulcer characteristics can identify those at highest risk for developing corneal perforation and/or needing TPK.

Trial Registration

clinicaltrials.gov Identifier: NCT00996736

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