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Cornea. 2000 May;19(3):393-4.

Tarantula keratouveitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, East Glamorgan General Hospital, Church Village, Mid Glamorgan, UK.



To report a case of chronic bilateral keratouveitis, which was initiated after contact with a pet tarantula.


A 16-year-old male presented with a photophobia and redness of his eyes two days after handling a tarantula. He was found to have a number of linear corneal foreign bodies with subepithelial infiltrates. The infiltrates were found at varying levels of the corneal stroma with deposits on the endothelium. The anterior chamber had a mild cellular reaction.


He was treated with topical steroid drops, which made him asymptomatic. However, he continued to have a mild persistent keratitis and iritis four months after the onset.


Tarantula hairs may be associated with a chronic keratouveitis, which is usually self-limiting and responds well to treatment with topical steroids. Tarantula pet owners should be forewarned of the ocular dangers associated with handling these spiders.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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