The giant fornix syndrome: an unrecognized cause of chronic, relapsing, grossly purulent conjunctivitis.
ABSTRACT To describe a group of elderly patients presenting with chronic, relapsing, copiously purulent conjunctivitis, in which the condition was often perpetuated by the sequestration of a large number of bacteria on a protein coagulum lodged in the recesses of a large upper conjunctival fornix.
Retrospective review of a noncomparative case series, drawn from patients attending the lacrimal clinic at Moorfields Eye Hospital.
Characterization of this unrecognized syndrome and its response to treatment.
Twelve patients (10 female) presented between the ages of 77 and 93 years (mean, 85; median, 86) with a history of chronic relapsing bacterial conjunctivitis affecting, with 2 exceptions, just one eye. All had experienced multiple episodes of markedly purulent conjunctivitis and chronic ocular discharge for between 8 and 48 months (mean, 23.5; median, 24) before referral, and the patients had received multiple courses of treatment. Three had successful external dacryocystorhinostomy (for nasolacrimal duct occlusion) before the final diagnosis of giant fornix syndrome was made, 9 had developed corneal vascularization and scarring before referral, and 5 had suffered prior spontaneous corneal perforation or thinning. All patients had deep upper conjunctival fornices in association with the changes of age-related dehiscence of the levator muscle aponeurosis. Copious amounts of thick, purulent debris and a yellow coagulum were lodged in the depths of the upper fornix-this debris universally culturing Staphylococcus aureus. The condition settled rapidly on appropriate systemic antibiotics (ciprofloxacin or ofloxacin), intensive topical antibiotics, and high-dose, high-potency steroids; some patients required repeated treatment or needed to continue the use of a single drop of a combined steroid-antibiotic to prevent relapse.
The capacious upper fornix of the elderly may harbor a coagulum colonized by S. aureus, leading to chronic conjunctivitis that may lead to severe sight impairment due to toxic keratopathy and secondary corneal vascularization.
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ABSTRACT: In 58 patients with chronic conjunctivitis of greater than two weeks' duration, examination included obtaining an ocular and general medical history and performing a complete ophthalmic examination of the external eye. Conjunctival smears were obtained for Gram and Giemsa staining, direct immunofluorescent monoclonal antibody staining for Chlamydia trachomatis and herpes simplex virus, and chlamydial culture. Cultures for bacteria and viruses were obtained in 33 patients. The cause of the chronic conjunctivitis based on clinical and laboratory criteria was established in 40 of 58 (69%) patients: chlamydia, 11 (19%); virus, eight (14%); irritant, six (10%); allergen, four (7%); contact lens, four (7%); bacteria, four (7%); acne rosacea, two (3%); and floppy eyelid syndrome, one (2%). In 18 of 58 (31%) patients, no specific cause was detected. We recommend a systematic approach in the investigation of chronic conjunctivitis. Direct immunofluorescent monoclonal antibody staining is an effective and rapid technique for detecting chronic chlamydial conjunctivitis.American Journal of Ophthalmology 03/1990; 109(2):138-42. · 3.63 Impact Factor
Article: Lacrimal conjunctivitis.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: In the course of an acute phase of pneumococcal conjunctivitis, a serpiginous corneal ulcer has never been reported to develop. However, if there is a pneumococcal chronic dacryocystitis and a resultant lacrimal conjunctivitis, the association with pneumococcal serpiginous ulcers is significant. This is most likely due to the fact that those serological types that are particularly virulent for the cornea have an affinity to colonize and infect the lacrimal sac.Bulletin de la Société belge d'ophtalmologie 02/1990; 238:61-9; discussion 69-70.
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ABSTRACT: Chronic dacryocystitis is commonly seen in patients requiring a dacryocystorhinostomy (DCR). The infection may be primary, or may be secondary to an anatomical abnormality that has led to tear flow stasis. It is possible that many cases of primary acquired nasolacrimal duct obstruction are in fact secondary to unrecognized low-grade dacryocystitis. The intent of this study was to determine what organisms grow in the lacrimal sac of patients requiring DCR. It also investigated whether or not there was a correlation between organisms cultured from the sac and from the conjunctiva and/or the nose. The results of the study indicate that there is not a clinically significant correlation. The level of obstruction does not affect whether similar organisms were cultured from the three sites.Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 02/1993; 9(1):43-6. · 0.67 Impact Factor