Efficacy of a Single Administration of 5% Povidone-Iodine in the Treatment of Adenoviral Conjunctivitis

Tammy Than, Christina E. Morettin, Jennifer S. Harthan, Andrew T.E. Hartwick, Julia B. Huecker, Spencer D. Johnson, Mary K. Migneco, Ellen Shorter, Meredith Whiteside, Christian K. Olson, Christopher S. Alferez, Tavé van Zyl, Bojana Rodic-Polic, Gregory A. Storch, Mae O. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of a single, in-office administration of 5% povidone-iodine (PVP-I) compared to artificial tears (AT) for adenoviral conjunctivitis (Ad-Cs). Design: Double-masked pilot randomized trial. Methods: Patients presenting with presumed adenoviral conjunctivitis were screened at 9 U.S. clinics. Inclusion criteria: ≥18 years of age, symptoms ≤4 days, and a positive AdenoPlus test. Exclusion criteria: thyroid disease, iodine allergy, recent ocular surgery, and ocular findings inconsistent with early-stage Ad-Cs. Randomization was to a single administration of 5% PVP-I or AT in 1 eye and examinations on days 1-2, 4, 7, 14, and 21 with conjunctival swabs taken at each visit for quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Primary outcome was percent reduction from peak viral load. Secondary outcomes were improvement in clinical signs and symptoms. Results: Of 56 patients randomized, 28 had detectable viral titers at baseline. Day 4 posttreatment, viral titers in the 5% PVP-I and AT groups were 2.5% ± 2.7% and 14.4% ± 10.5% of peak, respectively (P = .020). Severity of participant-reported tearing, lid swelling, and redness as well as clinician-graded mucoid discharge, bulbar redness, and bulbar edema were lower in the 5% PVP-I group than AT group on day 4 (P < .05). After day 4, viral titers and severity of signs and symptoms decreased markedly in both groups and no differences between groups were detected. Conclusions: Pilot data suggest a single, in-office administration of 5% PVP-I could reduce viral load and hasten improvement of clinical signs and symptoms in patients with Ad-Cs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Nov 2021


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