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Epidemic Keratoconjunctivitis Workup

  • Author: Ahmed Bawazeer, MBChB, FRCSC; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
Updated: Apr 03, 2015

Approach Considerations

A diagnosis of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) is routinely based on the characteristic clinical features. Conjunctival cytologic studies and viral cultures are among the means of identifying and confirming the presence of epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.

Diagnostic methods

A simple way to diagnose EKC is by conjunctival cytology with Giemsa stain to look for intranuclear inclusions and lymphocytes.

To confirm the diagnosis, viral culture is the criterion standard. Use a human epithelial cell line and a Chlamydia transport media.

Other available diagnostic methods include fluorescent antibody techniques, Adenoclone or enzyme immune assay, complement fixation, and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay.[4]

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Ahmed Bawazeer, MBChB, FRCSC  Professor and Chairman of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Division of Uveitis and Cornea, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia

Ahmed Bawazeer, MBChB, FRCSC is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


William G Hodge, MD, PhD, FRCSC Professor and Chair, Ophthalmologist in Chief, Ivey Eye Institute, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Western Ontario

William G Hodge, MD, PhD, FRCSC is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Canadian Medical Association, Canadian Ophthalmological Society, Ontario Medical Association, Quebec Medical Association, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Simon K Law, MD, PharmD Clinical Professor of Health Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology, Jules Stein Eye Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine

Simon K Law, MD, PharmD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Glaucoma Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Christopher J Rapuano, MD Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University; Director of the Cornea Service, Co-Director of Refractive Surgery Department, Wills Eye Hospital

Christopher J Rapuano, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Ophthalmological Society, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, International Society of Refractive Surgery, Cornea Society, Eye Bank Association of America

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: Cornea Society, Allergan, Bausch & Lomb, Bio-Tissue, Shire, TearScience, TearLab<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: Allergan, Bausch & Lomb, Bio-Tissue, TearScience.

Chief Editor

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

  1. Romanowski EG, Yates KA, Gordon YJ. Antiviral prophylaxis with twice daily topical cidofovir protects against challenge in the adenovirus type 5/New Zealand rabbit ocular model. Antiviral Res. 2001 Dec. 52(3):275-80. [Medline].

  2. Hillenkamp J, Reinhard T, Ross RS, Bohringer D, Cartsburg O, Roggendorf M, et al. The effects of cidofovir 1% with and without cyclosporin a 1% as a topical treatment of acute adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis: a controlled clinical pilot study. Ophthalmology. 2002 May. 109(5):845-50. [Medline].

  3. Yamazaki ES, Ferraz CA, Hazarbassanov RM, Allemann N, Campos M. Phototherapeutic keratectomy for the treatment of corneal opacities after epidemic keratoconjunctivitis. Am J Ophthalmol. 2011 Jan. 151(1):35-43.e1. [Medline].

  4. Sambursky R, Tauber S, Schirra F, Kozich K, Davidson R, Cohen EJ. The RPS adeno detector for diagnosing adenoviral conjunctivitis. Ophthalmology. 2006 Oct. 113(10):1758-64. [Medline].

  5. Levinger E, Trivizki O, Shachar Y, Levinger S, Verssano D. Topical 0.03% tacrolimus for subepithelial infiltrates secondary to adenoviral keratoconjunctivitis. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 May. 252(5):811-6. [Medline].

  6. Özen Tunay Z, Ozdemir O, Petricli IS. Povidone iodine in the treatment of adenoviral conjunctivitis in infants. Cutan Ocul Toxicol. 2015 Mar. 34(1):12-5. [Medline].

Follicular conjunctivitis and subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Symblepharon secondary to epidemic keratoconjunctivitis.
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