Background/aims To report the incidence and clinical characteristics of paediatric keratitis diagnosed over a 10-year period in a well-defined population.
Design Retrospective, population-based study.
Methods Setting: multicentre. Population: patients (<19 years) diagnosed with keratitis as residents of Olmsted County from 1 January 2000, through 31 December 2009. Main outcome measures: calculated annual age-specific and gender-specific incidence rates, demographic information and initial and final visual acuity.
Results A total of 294 diagnoses of keratitis occurred in 285 children during the 10-year period, yielding an incidence of 78.0 per 100 000 younger than 19 years (95% CI 69.0 to 87.1) or approximately 1 in 1282 children. The incidence increased throughout the 10-year study period (p<0.001). The mean age at diagnosis was 15.3 years (range, 0.2–18.9) and 172 (60.4%) were women. The observed forms included keratitis due to contact lens wear in 134 (45.6%), infectious keratitis in 72 (24.5%), keratitis not otherwise specified in 65 (22.1%) and keratitis sicca in 23 (7.8%). The visual acuity was reduced to ≤20/40 in 61 (21.4) of the 285 patients at the initial examination and in 24 (8.4%) at the final examination. Children with infectious keratitis had the poorest presenting vision and the best final vision, whereas the reverse was true for those with keratitis sicca.
Conclusions Keratitis, regardless of aetiology, was observed in approximately 1 in 1300 children by 19 years of age in this population-based cohort. Nearly half were related to contact lens wear and a decrease in vision to ≤ 20/40 occurred in 1 in 12 patients.
- Contact lens
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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Correction notice Since this article was first published, an acknowledgement section has been added.
Contributors BGM designed the study, monitored data collection, analysed data, drafted and revised the manuscript. BGM is the guarantor of the study and accepts full responsibility for the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. LBT acquired data, analyzed data, drafted and revised the manuscript. EJK designed the study, acquired data, analysed data and revised the manuscript. SDB and GBA acquired data and revised the manuscript. EDB revised the manuscript. DOH analysed and interpreted data. All authors gave final approval of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.