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Ocular candidiasis: a review
  1. C P Shah,
  2. J McKey,
  3. M J Spirn,
  4. J Maguire
  1. Wills Eye Institute, Retina Service, Philadelphia, PA, USA
  1. C P Shah, Wills Eye Institute, 840 Walnut Street, Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA; cshah{at}


Aims: To review the epidemiology, diagnosis and changing treatment paradigm of ocular candidiasis, and report current prevalence rates and risk factors at one inpatient hospital.

Design: Retrospective review; systematic literature review.

Methods: All Wills Eye Institute inpatient ophthalmology consultations from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital were retrospectively reviewed between June 2006 and November 2006. All consultations for candidaemia were included. The outcome variables included chorioretinitis, endophthalmitis, visual symptoms and Candida speciation. The ophthalmic literature was reviewed using PubMed. Keywords included Candida, candidaemia, chorioretinitis, vitritis and endophthalmitis. Bibliographies were manually searched.

Results: Three of the 38 consultations for candidaemia (7.9%) had chorioretinitis. There were no cases of vitritis or endophthalmitis. The presence of symptoms, or the inability to articulate symptoms, was significantly associated with risk of ocular candidiasis (p = 0.003). All three cases of chorioretinitis had positive blood cultures for Candida albicans (p = 0.089) and were treated with oral fluconazole.

Conclusions: Various factors have led to the increasing prevalence of inpatient candidaemia. Risk factors for ocular involvement include albicans species and the presence of, or inability to articulate, visual symptoms. For those without abnormal findings on initial examination, a subsequent retinal examination should be performed in 2 weeks, particularly if new symptoms develop or if the patient is unable to relay symptoms. Patients with chorioretinitis should be treated with systemic antifungal agents. For those with vitritis or endophthalmitis, particularly if worsening on systemic therapy alone, intravitreal antifungal medications or early vitrectomy should be considered.

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  • Funding: The authors did not receive any funding, nor do they have any financial disclosures.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained.

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