Fungal eye disease at a tertiary care center: The utility of routine inpatient consultation

Carey C. Dozier, Ryan M. Tarantola, Kim Jiramongkolchai, Sean P. Donahue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Purpose: Hematogenous dissemination of fungus of the eyes can manifest as chorioretinitis or endophthalmitis. Early reports of this condition describe the prevalence to range from 10% to 40%; however, more recent studies have suggested a declining prevalence, presumably because of widespread use of prophylactic antifungal therapy and earlier diagnosis and treatment of systemic illness before ocular symptoms become apparent. This study estimates the current prevalence and microbial profile of fungal chorioretinitis and endophthalmitis among patients with positive fungal cultures at a tertiary care medical center. Design: Retrospective case series. Participants: A total of 211 adult and pediatric inpatients with fungemia. Methods: All inpatient consultations at our institution to evaluate for ocular involvement by fungal organisms from June 3, 2006, to September 3, 2009, were reviewed. Main Outcome Measures: The presence or absence of ocular lesions consistent with disseminated fungus. Results: A total of 211 patients (83 pediatric, 128 adult) had consult requests indicating concern for ocular fungal infection. More than 97% of these patients had at least 1 positive fungal culture. In decreasing order of frequency, the organisms identified were Candida albicans, C. parapsilosis, C. glabrata, C. tropicalis, and others. More than 98% of all patients were receiving systemic antifungal therapy (average duration 6.5 days) at the time of examination. No pediatric patients and only 2 adult patients had positive findings (i.e., chorioretinitis or endophthalmitis); 1 of these 2 patients was able to verbalize symptoms and reported floaters and blurring, whereas the other patient was unable to verbalize. Visual symptoms were rare (3.5%) among patients with negative findings who could verbalize visual symptoms. Three adults had nonspecific fundus lesions that were considered inconsistent with chorioretinitis. Conclusions: Disseminated ocular fungal infection is rare in the current era of widespread prophylactic antifungal therapy. Less than 1% of patients in our study had ocular involvement from fungus, and no patients who were asymptomatic had involvement. We suggest that routine ophthalmic consultation on fungemic inpatients is not an efficient use of clinical resources; however, validation of these findings via a prospective study is desired. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1676
Number of pages6
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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