Infectious keratitis after LASIK

Carol L. Karp, Sonal S. Tuli, Sonia H. Yoo, David T. Vroman, Eduardo C. Alfonso, Andrew H. Huang, Stephen C. Pflugfelder, William W. Culbertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report the clinical course, management, and outcomes of culture-proven infectious keratitis in 15 eyes of 13 subjects after LASIK. Design: Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series. Participants: Fifteen eyes of 13 subjects who underwent LASIK and developed culture-positive keratitis. Intervention: Infectious keratitis was encountered in the operative eyes between 1 day and 450 days. Cultures were obtained, and topical antibiotic therapy was administered in all cases. Some cases required flap lifting, irrigation, and soaking of the bed with antibiotics, flap amputation, or further surgical intervention. Main Outcome Measures: Time periods from onset to diagnosis, from clinical diagnosis to clinical resolution, final acuities, microbiologic profiles, and medical and surgical interventions were reviewed. Results: Onset of symptoms of infection varied, depending on the infectious organism. Bacterial organisms tended to present earlier, whereas mycobacterial and fungal organisms had a later mean onset of presentation. Furthermore, the atypical organisms such as mycobacteria, fungus, and acanthamoeba also had a more delayed diagnosis, resulting in a prolonged disease course. Conclusions: Infectious keratitis after LASIK is a potentially vision-threatening complication. Onset of symptoms varies depending on causative agents. Furthermore, atypical organisms in the interface or beneath the flap can pose both diagnostic and therapeutic dilemmas. Location in the interface can make it more difficult to culture the organisms and prevent adequate penetration of topical antibiotics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-510
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003


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