Thursday, March 22, 2007

Chlamydial conjunctivitis presenting as pre septal cellulitis.

Chlamydial conjunctivitis presenting as pre septal cellulitis.

Head Face Med. 2007 Mar 14

Drummond SR,
Diaper CJ.


Chlamydia conjuctivitis results from infection by chlamydia trachomatis, the commonest treatable sexually transmitted infection in Europe. Its clinical manifestations involve the conjunctiva and the cornea. The inflammation under the upper eyelid may be sufficient to present as ptosis, however previously it has not been documented to cause a preseptal cellulitis. We present such a case. A 15-year-old girl was diagnosed with a left viral conjunctivitis. Five days later, she returned with marked oedema of the left upper and lower lids accompanied by erythema.

The tarsal conjunctiva revealed follicles and large papillae and extra ocular movements revealed discomfort on elevation. A secondary diagnosis of bacterial pre septal cellulitis was made and the treatment was changed a broad spectrum oral antibiotic. On review at two days, the patient now complained of a large amount of purulent discharge in association with the marked pre septal swelling. As previous bacteriology and virology had been negative, the patient was re swabbed for chlamydia. This proved positive and her symptoms completely resolved following administration of Azithromycin.

In this particular case recognition of the pathogen is important to alert the patient to the likelihood of unknown genital infestation. In all cases of positive culture, the patient should be counselled to attend a genitourinary clinic and to alert any sexual partners to the need to do likewise.

Head and Face Medicine Full Text

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