A single-centre retrospective observational study of fungal keratitis in Poland with a review of findings in Europe
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Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry, Zabrze, Poland Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Management and Financial Science, School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
Katarzyna Ewa Nowik   

Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine with the Division of Dentistry in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Fungal keratitis is a severe condition which may lead to blindness. Fungal keratitis, also known mycotic keratitis or keratomycosis, has worldwide distribution, but is more common in tropical climates compared to moderate zones. In recent years, there have been several studies suggesting an increase in the number of mycotic keratitis cases in countries with a moderate climate. There is little data available with no literature review concerning fungal keratitis in European countries.

To analyse the causes, presentation, and clinico-pathological associations of fungal keratitis in a retrospective series of patients referred to the Department of Ophthalmology of the Railway Hospital in Katowice, south-west Poland, and comparing the findings to previously published studies in peer reviewed articles from other European countries published between 2000–2019.

Material and methods:
Data were collected using the medical records of patients with fungal keratitis. Risk factors, clinical manifestation and treatment results were analysed from 45 patients (45 eyes) with fungal keratitis treated in the Department of Ophthalmology of Railway Hospital in Katowice between January 2013 – December 2017. The factors affecting the development of infection, visual acuity at baseline and at the end of treatment, as well as treatment method selection, were analysed. Literature review was performed using the Medline, Pubmed, Embase databases and Google scholar. The inclusion criteria were peer reviewed papers published between 2000–2019 which reported data from patients with fungal keratitis in at least one European country. 11 peer reviewed articles which matched the inclusion criteria were analysed.

The mean BCVA of patients treated in the Department of Ophthalmology of the Railway Hospital in Katowice upon diagnosis was 2.3 (logMAR), compared to 1.95 (logMAR) at the end of treatment. Pearson’s chi-squared test was used to establish the final mean BCVA in eyes with keratitis caused by Candida spp. compared with keratitis caused by Filamentous spp. The reviewed articles showed poor results of treatment and diagnostic difficulties in fungal keratitis.

Fungal keratitis is a significant diagnostic and therapeutic challenge and may occur in rural and urban areas. Early and accurate diagnosis followed by proper antifungal treatment can prevent blindness and improve BCVA results.

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