Br J Ophthalmol 94:389-390 doi:10.1136/bjo.2009.164632
  • PostScript
  • Letter

Non-traumatic Alternaria keratomycosis in a rigid gas-permeable contact lens patient

  1. Donna M Wolk5
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Science, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  2. 2Cornea Associates, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  3. 3Department of Bioengineering, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  4. 4Private Practice, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  5. 5Department of Pathology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roxana Ursea, Cornea and Refractive Surgery Division, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arizona, 655 North Alvernon Way, Suite 108, Tucson, AZ 85711-1824, USA; rursea{at}
  • Accepted 27 May 2009


Alternaria encompasses nearly 50 species of ubiquitous, saprophytic, dematiaceous ascomycetes that are normal conjuctival flora in some individuals but can also cause opportunistic corneal infections, especially in the settings of agricultural trauma, surgery and topical steroid and antibiotic use. Soft contact lens wear may confer an additional risk of fungal keratitis but is rarely implicated with Alternaria.1 2 Here, we report the first case, to our knowledge, of non-traumatic, RGP-related Alternaria keratomycosis. Of 62 published cases of Alternaria keratomycoses (table 1), none involved rigid gas-permeable contact lens (RGP) wear.

View this table:
Table 1

Alternaria keratomycosis reported in the literature

Case report

A 72-year-old Caucasian female RGP wearer of 12 years complained of gradual left eye burning and redness for 1 week. History was remarkable only for remote, uncomplicated penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) for keratoconus. At presentation, uncorrected visual acuity was 20/200 in …

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