Author(s): Roopashree Kamishetty1, Shashikala P2
To evaluate the role of oral diethylcarbamazine as an adjuvant therapy in refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis associated with eosinophilia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Twenty four patients with bilateral refractory severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and eosinophilia were included in the prospective study. The average age of patients was 8.25 years (range 3 to 14 years) including 18 males (75%) and 6 females (25%). The absolute eosinophil count (AEC) in these patients was on an average 1065.79 cells/μL (range 530 to 3120 cells/μL). All the patients were given oral diethylcarbamazine (DEC) as an adjuvant therapy for refractory VKC. RESULTS: At an average follow up of 7.2 months (range 6 to 11 months), only 2 cases (8.3%) had recurrent exacerbation of VKC. Signs and symptoms of VKC improved significantly with remission in all the patients within 3 months. Absolute eosinophil count repeated after 3 months of starting DEC was on an average 376.25 cells/μL (range 200 to 950 cells/μL). There was a statistically significant reduction in eosinophilia following oral DEC at p<0.0001. CONCLUSION: Oral DEC effectively reduces eosinophilia seen in refractory VKC. It is a cost effective and safe alternative as an adjuvant in refractory VKC with good clinical response.