June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis: Ethnicity, Age of Onset, and Outcomes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Abed Namavari
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Elmer Tu
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Maria Soledad Cortina
    University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Abed Namavari, None; Elmer Tu, None; Maria Cortina, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 6196. doi:
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      Abed Namavari, Elmer Tu, Maria Soledad Cortina; Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis: Ethnicity, Age of Onset, and Outcomes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):6196.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To evaluate demographic characteristics and disease severity of phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis in patients treated at a tertiary care center in the United States.


A retrospective cohort study was performed by reviewing the charts of patient treated for Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis at the University of Illinois at Chicago from January 2000 to November 2014. Data regarding age, sex, racial background, visual acuity before and after treatment, and complications from the disease were gathered and analyzed.


Thirty nine patients were included in the study. Ethnicity was classified as Caucasian (16), African American (4), Hispanic (15), and Other (4). Due to the small sample size for African American and other racial backgrounds, the secondary comparisons were made between Caucasians and Hispanics. Age at presentation was statistically significantly lower in Hispanics compared to Caucasians (8.3±5.4 years vs 21.9±15.9 years; p-value ≈ 0.01). Male to female ratio was 7/9 in Caucasians and 7/8 in Hispanics (not significantly different). Of all patients with recorded visual acuity both before and after treatment, statistically significantly more patients had visual acuity of 20/40 or worse at presentation in Hispanics (6 out of 8) compared to Caucasians (3 out of 11); p-value ≈ 0.04. There was no significant difference in the type of treatment given to Hispanics versus Caucasians. Three patients out of all 39 patients had residual scarring of the cornea, all of whom were Hispanic. Only one patient had recurrent disease who was Hispanic.


Phlyctenular keratoconjunctivitis appears to be more severe and present at an earlier age in Hispanic patients compared to Caucasians. Future prospective studies are needed to further investigate these findings.  


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