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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 58  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 239-244

Dematiaceous fungal keratitis: Clinical and microbiologic experience

Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pratik Gajanan Kunde
Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tirunelveli, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjosr.tjosr_71_20

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Objective: The objective was to study the epidemiology, clinical features, and treatment outcomes of dematiaceous fungal keratitis. Design: This was a retrospective, noncomparative, observational study. Materials and Methods: Fifty-nine cases of dematiaceous fungal keratitis seen at tertiary care hospital from January 2017 to June 2018 were analyzed for demographic features, predisposing factors, clinical characteristics, microbiological profile, and treatment outcomes. Statistical Analysis: Mean (standard deviation) and frequency (percentage) were used to represent continuous and categorical variables, respectively. Wilcoxon signed rank test was used for comparative analysis. Results: Of 236 cases of fungal keratitis seen during the study period, dematiaceous fungi were the third most common isolates in 59 cases (25%) after Fusarium (n = 101; 43%) and Aspergillus species (n = 76; 32%). Majority of the patients were adult males (male: female = 2:1) from rural areas (51%) with agricultural occupation (51%). Trauma with vegetable matter was the most common predisposing factor in 27 cases (45.8%). The characteristic macroscopic pigmentation was seen in only eight eyes (13.6%). In our study, 24 (40.7%) patients revealed Curvularia species, followed by Bipolaris and Exserohilum species in 20 cases (33.9%) and 10 cases (17%), respectively. The median time of antifungal therapy was 21 days (interquartile range: 21–41 days). Fifty-four (91.5%) responded to medical therapy, whereas five eyes required surgical intervention. Conclusions: This study signifies the importance of dematiaceous fungi as the important causative agent of fungal keratitis. Medical therapy along with debridement of ulcer alone can be effective in treating patients with superficial infiltrate who seek treatment early.

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