Depth, size of infiltrate, and the microbe – The trio that prognosticates the outcome of infective keratitis

Sankara Nethralaya Cornea Emergency Team (SNCET)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To analyze the influence of infiltrate size, depth, and organism on the outcome of microbial keratitis. Design: Retrospective comparative study. Methods: Medical records of patients with infective keratitis, who reported from January 2015 to December 2019 to a tertiary eye care center, were analyzed. Size and depth of ulcer at presentation were the factors used to group patients, and the influence on the outcome of the organism causing it was analyzed. Grouping was as follows: group A: ulcer size <6 mm/anterior to midstromal infiltrate, group B: ulcer < 6 mm/full-thickness infiltrate, group C: ulcer >6 mm/anterior to midstromal infiltrate, group D: ulcer > 6 mm/full-thickness infiltrate. Patients with viral keratitis or unidentified organism were excluded. Response to treatment and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at the final follow-up were the outcome measures. Results: In the study, 1117/6276 patients were included, with 60.8% patients in group A. A significant improvement in visual acuity was noted in groups A/B compared to groups C/D. Group A had the best response to medical management, irrespective of the organism. Higher risk for surgery was noted in group C compared to group B, with group A as the reference. Overall resolution with medical treatment was noted in 70% miscellaneous keratitis, 64.8% bacterial keratitis, 64.3% mixed keratitis, 62.5% acanthamoeba keratitis, 52.6% fungal keratitis, and 12.1% Pythium keratitis. Bacteria and acanthamoeba responded better to medical management than fungal keratitis, whereas Pythium had the highest risk for surgery. Conclusion: An interplay between virulence of the organism along with depth and size of the infiltrate determines the outcome of microbial keratitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-52
Number of pages9
JournalIndian Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


  • Acanthamoeba keratitis
  • Pythium keratitis
  • bacterial keratitis
  • corneal ulcer
  • fungal keratitis
  • infective keratitis
  • ulcer depth
  • ulcer size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Depth, size of infiltrate, and the microbe – The trio that prognosticates the outcome of infective keratitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this