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Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology:
doi: 10.1097/APO.0b013e3182a618dd
Review Article

Effectiveness of Topical Antifungal Drugs in the Management of Fungal Keratitis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

McDonald, Elissa M. MN(Hons)*; Ram, Felix S. F. PhD; Patel, Dipika V. PhD*; McGhee, Charles N. J. PhD*

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Abstract: Fungal keratitis (FK) typically requires intensive therapy with topical antifungal agents. To date, evidence from clinical trials has been conflicting with respect to the most effective topical antifungal drug in the treatment of FK. Therefore, a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTS) using the Cochrane methodology was undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of topical antifungals in management of FK. Outcomes included time to cure, treatment failure, complications of infection, visual acuity and adverse effects. A comprehensive search for studies was undertaken resulting in inclusion of 8 RCTs, predominantly from India, involving a total of 793 participants, the majority of whom were infected with filamentous fungi. Topical voriconazole was more likely to result in therapeutic keratoplasty compared with natamycin [relative risk (RR) 1.89 95% CI: 1.14, 3.12] with a number needed to treat of 13 (95% CI: 7, 50). Final visual acuity was significantly better with natamycin compared with voriconazole [weighted mean difference (WMD) 0.13, 95% CI 0.00, 0.27]. There was no difference in risk of treatment failure across all topical antifungal treatments studied (chlorhexidine gluconate, econazole, miconazole, natamycin, silver sulphadiazine and voriconazole). This study suggests treatment failure was comparable among antifungal treatments reviewed. However, natamycin resulted in better visual acuity following acute infection, compared with voriconazole. Voriconazole had a significantly greater risk of therapeutic keratoplasty compared with natamycin in the populations studied.

© 2014 by Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology

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