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Ophthalmology. 1995 Sep;102(9):1369-73.

Acanthamoeba keratitis. Contact lens and noncontact lens characteristics.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.



To identify potential differences in time to diagnosis and final visual outcome between contact lens and noncontact lens users with Acanthamoeba keratitis.


Prior studies have shown early diagnosis and therapy to be related to outcome but have not analyzed differences among patients with and without contact lenses.


A retrospective analysis of 11 consecutive cases (involving 13 eyes) of Acanthamoeba keratitis diagnosed at one institution over a 3-year period.


Mean time to diagnosis was significantly longer in noncontact lens users versus those who wore contact lenses (mean, 5.8 versus 3.3 weeks). Fifty percent of patients who did not wear contact lenses had a poor outcome (visual acuity worse than 20/40 or penetrating keratoplasty) versus 14% of patients who wore contact lenses.


Diagnoses were made later in patients without contact lenses, and these patients had a worse visual outcome than those with Acanthamoeba keratitis who wore contact lenses. All patients with unresponsive microbial keratitis, even those without contact lens use, should be evaluated for Acanthamoeba.

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