Rose Bengal Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy for Patients With Progressive Infectious Keratitis: A Pilot Clinical Study

Andrea Naranjo, Alejandro Arboleda, Jaime D. Martinez, Heather Durkee, Mariela C. Aguilar, Nidhi Relhan, Neda Nikpoor, Anat Galor, Sander R. Dubovy, Roger Leblanc, Harry W. Flynn, Darlene Miller, Jean Marie Parel, Guillermo Amescua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report clinical outcomes of rose bengal photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (RB-PDAT) as an adjunct treatment for severe, progressive infectious keratitis. Design: Consecutive interventional case series. Methods: Patients with progressive infectious keratitis unresponsive to standard medical therapy underwent RB-PDAT at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute from January 2016 through March 2018. RB-PDAT was performed by applying a solution of rose bengal (0.1% or 0.2% RB in balanced salt solution) to the de-epithelialized cornea for 30 minutes, followed by irradiation with a 6 mW/cm2 custom-made green LED source for 15 minutes (5.4 J/cm2). Results: The current study included 18 patients (7 male and 11 female) ranging from 17 to 83 years old. Acanthamoeba was the most frequent microbe (10/17; 59%), followed by Fusarium spp. (4/17; 24%), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (2/17; 12%), and Curvularia spp. (1/17; 6%); 1 patient had no confirmed microbiologic diagnosis. Main clinical risk factor for keratitis included contact lens wear (79%). The average area of epithelial defect prior to first RB-PDAT was 32 ± 27 mm2 and average stromal depth hyperreflectivity measured with anterior segment optical coherence tomography was 269 ± 75 μm. Successful RB-PDAT (avoidance of therapeutic keratoplasty) was achieved in 72% of the cases, with an average time to clinical resolution (decreased pain and inflammation with re-epithelialization and infiltrate resolution) of 46.9 ± 26.4 days after RB-PDAT. Time of follow-up after RB-PDAT was 13.3 ± 5.7 months. Conclusion: RB-PDAT can be considered as an adjunct therapy for cases of severe, progressive infectious keratitis before performing a therapeutic keratoplasty.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-396
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
StatePublished - Dec 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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