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February 1991

Chronic Alternaria alternata Endophthalmitis Following Intraocular Lens Implantation

Author Affiliations

Erlangen, Federal Republic of Germany

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(2):178. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080020024014

Alternaria alternata is a widespread, airborne hyphomycete living as a phytoparasite on leaves or vegetable fruits. This imperfect fungus possesses typical conidiospores. Its asthmogenic potential plays an important role as a releasing factor for bronchial asthma, but it is of little importance, causing ophthalmic diseases such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, or keratomycosis.1 To our knowledge, fungal endophthalmitis caused by A alternata has not been previously described.

Report of a Case.  —A 69-year old diabetic woman underwent extracapsular cataract extraction in another institution with posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation in the left eye in August 1987. After surgery, visual acuity was 40/50 OS and 20/20 OD 3 years after extracapsular cataract extraction and intraocular lens implantation. Intraocular pressure was 16 mm Hg in both eyes. Two months later, slit-lamp examination disclosed 3+ cells, flare, fibrinous exudate, and a 1.5-mm hypopyon in the anterior chamber of the left eye. The patient had