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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Acanthamoeba keratitis - External and Internal Eye
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Emergency: requires immediate attention

Acanthamoeba keratitis - External and Internal Eye

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Contributors: Brandon D. Ayres MD, Christopher Rapuano MD, Harvey A. Brown MD, Sunir J. Garg MD, Lauren Patty Daskivich MD, MSHS
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a rare but serious eye infection that can affect a person of any age or sex. The incidence of AK is estimated to be approximately 1:250,000. The acanthamoeba organism exists as 2 forms in the cornea. The first form is the free-living protozoa called a trophozoite; the second is a double-walled cyst that forms in times of stress. Risk factors for AK include contact lens wear; homemade saline solution; water exposure, such as pools, hot tubs, rivers, and saunas; and exposure to vegetative matter or soil. Contact lens wear (especially soft lens wear) has long been known to be a risk factor for AK. However, on May 25, 2007, the CDC in conjunction with the FDA released a health alert recalling the multi-purpose contact lens solution COMPLETE Moisture PLUS due to its association with an increase in AK.

Patients with AK will present complaining of ocular pain, light sensitivity, red eye, blepharospasm, excessive tearing, and possibly reduced vision. Often times, especially in early disease, patients' symptoms will be more significant than what is seen on physical exam. The findings in AK can look very similar to herpetic keratitis, and it is not uncommon for patients to be first treated unsuccessfully with antiviral and/or steroid medications before correct diagnosis of AK is made.

Codes

ICD10CM:
H16.8 – Other keratitis

SNOMEDCT:
231896005 – Acanthamoeba keratitis

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Last Updated: 05/31/2013
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Emergency: requires immediate attention
Acanthamoeba keratitis - External and Internal Eye
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Acanthamoeba keratitis (Initial Symptoms) : Eye pain, Photophobia, Contact lens wearer, Pain out of proportion to exam findings, Unilateral, Conjunctival injection
Clinical image of Acanthamoeba keratitis
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