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July 1987

Treatment of Neonatal Conjunctivitis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Karolinska Institute, Södersjukhuset, Stockholm.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(7):925-928. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060070061029

• The effect of different treatment regimens on clinical and microbiologic cures of neonatal conjunctivitis was evaluated during a 32-day observation period. In 84 infants with mild to moderate conjunctivitis and no signs of dacryocystitis, clinical cures were achieved in more than 50% of the cases with lid hygiene only. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common organism (48%) isolated from these infants. Chlamydia trachomatis could not be isolated from eyes with mild to moderate conjunctivitis. Forty-four infants with severe conjunctivitis, with or without dacryocystitis, were randomly assigned to treatment with either topical chloramphenicol or oral erythromycin for 14 days. Chlamydia trachomatis was isolated from 19 (43%) of these infants. All infants with chlamydial conjunctivitis who were treated with 25 mg/kg of oral erythromycin ethylsuccinate twice daily for 14 days were clinically and microbiologically cured. In contrast, all treatment of chlamydial conjunctivitis with topical chloramphenicol failed clinically as well as microbiologically. Dacryocystitis was a common complication in neonatal conjunctivitis (17%). The clinical failures in neonatal nonchlamydial conjunctivitis were associated with persistent obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct.