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   Table of Contents      
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 2490-2491

Confocal imaging in a fungal invasion of contact lenses

Cornea Institute, L V Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad, Telangana, India

Date of Submission27-Nov-2019
Date of Acceptance24-Jul-2020
Date of Web Publication26-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pravin K Vaddavalli
Cornea Institute, LV Prasad Eye Institute, Hyderabad - 500 034, Telangana
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2181_19

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Keywords: Confocal, confocal scanning, contact lens, contact lens invasion, fungal invasion

How to cite this article:
Bhutani G, Vaddavalli PK. Confocal imaging in a fungal invasion of contact lenses. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:2490-1

How to cite this URL:
Bhutani G, Vaddavalli PK. Confocal imaging in a fungal invasion of contact lenses. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Nov 25];68:2490-1. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/11/2490/299046

A 53 year old gentleman presented with complains of decreased vision and discomfort in his left eye (LE) on wearing his contact lenses. His current pair of contact lenses (CLs) were 6 months old and he was an experienced polyhydroxyethylmethacrylate (PHEMA) CL user. Best distance visual acuity in both eyes was 20/20. In the LE, a whitish patch was noted on the CL, which had a granular appearance with fuzzy borders [Figure 1]. After removing the CLs, corneal superficial punctate keratopathy was noted on fluorescein staining in both eyes (BE) and the rest of the ocular examination was unremarkable. The CL was mounted on a lens holder and confocal microscopy was performed [Figure 2], which revealed long filamentous branching structures on the surface of CL with short filaments within the substance of the CL [Figure 3]a. These findings were suggestive of fungal invasion of the CLs, and it was confirmed by histopathological examination using hematoxylin–eosin (H&E) [Figure 3]b and Grocott–Gomori methenamine silver staining. The patient was storing the lenses in Bausch and Lomb Renu multiplus lens solution dispensed to him with CLs. The microbiology culture of CLs and solution grew Fusarium species. He was asked to discontinue lenses for 2 weeks and order a new pair of CLs. The patient was doing fine until the last follow-up.
Figure 1: (a) Diffuse illumination of a slit-lamp photograph of the left eye with contact lens on showing granular whitish opacity with fuzzy borders (inset) (b) Diffuse slit-lamp photograph of the left eye showing clear cornea after removal of the contact lens

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Figure 2: Performing the confocal microscopy of a contact lens after mounting it on a lens holder. (a) Gross image of the infected CL (b) Loading the CL onto the CL holder (c) Applying gel over the CL before confocal microscopy () Performing the confocal microscopy

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Figure 3: (a) Negative confocal scan image showing small fungal fragments within the substance of contact lens. (b) Hematoxylin–eosin stain image of the contact lens showing fungus growing in a filamentous form on the surface of the contact lens and the form of penetration pegs (black arrow) within the substance of the contact lens

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  Discussion Top

The incidence of fungal contamination of CLs is believed to be around 2% to 5%.[1] It is believed to occur more commonly in hydrophilic CLs and with surface irregularities on the CL.[2] The fungus grows in filamentous form on the surface of CL while it grows in short corkscrew pattern within the substance of the CL, penetration pegs.[3],[4] More than 250 cases have been reported worldwide which have been primarily associated with multipurpose CL disinfecting solutions.[5] Confocal microscopy in such cases can be a helpful noninvasive tool to arrive at the diagnosis.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Wilson LA, Ahearn DG. Association of fungi with extended-wear soft contact lenses. Am J Ophthalmol 1986;101:434-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Wilhelmus KR, Robinson NM, Font RA, Hamill MB, Jones DB. Fungal keratitis in contact lens wearers. Am J Ophthalmol 1988;106:708-14.  Back to cited text no. 2
Simmons RB, Buffington JR, Ward M, Wilson LA, Ahearn DG. Morphology and ultrastructure of fungi in extended-wear soft contact lenses. J Clin Microbiol 1986;24:21-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
ElMallah MK, Edward DP, McMahon TT. Filamentous fungal invasion of a methafilcon contact lens. Cornea 2006;25:860-2.  Back to cited text no. 4
Bullock JD, Elder BL, Khamis HJ, Warwar RE. Effects of time, temperature and storage container on the growth of Fusarium species: Implications for the worldwide Fusarium keratitis epidemic of 2004 – 2006. Arch Ophthalmol 2011;129:133-6.  Back to cited text no. 5


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]


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