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Evaluation of antifungal chemotherapeutic effects on fungal keratitis by confocal microscopy

Evaluation of antifungal chemotherapeutic effects on fungal keratitis by confocal microscopy

Chinese Journal of Ophthalmology 41(7): 614-619

To evaluate the validity of confocal microscopy in estimating curative effect and in directing the treatment for fungal keratitis in the process of antifungal chemotherapy. Fifty-eight patients, who were confirmed fungal infection by confocal microscopy, were selected from 328 patients with fungal keratitis. All patients received routine topical and/or oral antifungal medication, and were examined by confocal microscopy once a week and one week after discontinuation of the treatment. The density of hyphae in the corneal lesion, the configuration of inflammatory cells and keratocyte were recorded. Antifungal chemotherapy was adjusted according to examination results and medicines were changed accordingly. If no hyphae were detected by confocal microscopy, antifungal medication was maintained for one week and then discontinued. All patients were followed up for two months to ensure no relapse of fungal infection. Fifty three patients were cured. The area of corneal lesions began to reduce 7 days after the beginning of antifungal chemotherapy. Confocal microscopy examination revealed that the hypha positive sites and the density of hypha were reduced gradually; inflammatory cells also decreased, the configuration of corneal lesion was transformed from asymmetry to symmetry; and normal keratocytes could be detected gradually. After 14 days of treatment, ulcers healed up in 37 cases and no hyphae and inflammatory cells were found in 23 cases. After 28 days of treatment, all corneal ulcers healed up; hyphae and inflammatory cells were completely disappeared in 31 patients, but a few hyphae still could be found in 22 patients. Antifungal chemotherapy was tapered gradually if no hyphae and inflammatory cells were detected by confocal microscopy. There was no relapse of fungus infection during 2-month follow-up. Infection deteriorated in the other five patients within 7 days, which showed increased density of hypha and inflammatory cells under confocal microscopy examination. All of them were treated with a penetrating keratoplasty to save the eyeball. Confocal microscopy is an ideal method for the evaluation of curative effects of fungal keratitis in the process of antifungal chemotherapy. This is also a valuable objective tool in directing antifungal medication.

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Accession: 048994642

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PMID: 16080896

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