To examine the epidemiological characteristics, trends, risk factors, management strategies, and clinical outcomes of Candida albicans and non-albicans keratitis over a 15-year period in a tertiary Canadian eye center.
In a retrospective observational case series of Candida keratitis from 2003 to 2017, demographics, risk factors, corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) at initial and final consultations, medical and surgical management, and follow-up duration were recorded.
Twenty-one cases of Candida keratitis were identified (62.5% of total fungal keratitis; 10 C. albicans and 11 non-albicans). The most commonly associated risk factors were topical steroid use (16 patients, 76%), ocular surface disease (15 patients, 71%), contact lens use (11 patients, 52%), and previous corneal surgery (8 patients, 38%); all patients had 2 or more combined risk factors. The number of patients with a visual acuity of 20/200 or better remained the same before and after the treatment (5/21, 24%). The mean duration of the antifungal treatment was 98 ± 126 days. Sixteen patients ultimately required surgical management (76%; 12 therapeutic keratoplasties, 3 enucleation, and 1 optical keratoplasty). When comparing C. albicans with non-albicans keratitis, we found no difference in presenting visual acuity, final visual acuity, or requirement for surgical management.
Candida keratitis accounts for the most identified fungal keratitis cases in this temperate climate area. An exposure to multiple risk factors appears necessary. A surgical intervention is required for the resolution of most cases. Different subspecies of Candida ultimately resulted in similar clinical outcomes.