Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2020 Aug 29. doi: 10.1007/s00417-020-04916-0. Online ahead of print.
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the frequency and clinical presentation of conjunctivitis in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Hospital Clinico San Carlos of Madrid, Spain. A total of 301 subjects from the COVID admission unit with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection were included. The presence and clinical characteristics of conjunctivitis were evaluated. Laboratory, radiological, and clinical results in patients with and without conjunctivitis stratified by sex were analyzed.
RESULTS: Of the 301 subjects included, 180 patients (59.8%) were male and the median age was 72 years (IQ 59-82). Overall, 35 patients (11.6%) were diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis. We found no relationship between the COVID-19 severity score and the presence of conjunctivitis (P = 0.17). However, conjunctivitis was more frequent in males with moderate clinical severity and in women classified as clinically mild. The natural history of the disease seems to be a rapid self-limited conjunctivitis that improves without treatment and does not affect visual acuity nor associate short-term complications.
CONCLUSIONS: Approximately, 1 out of 10 hospitalized non-critical COVID-19 patients presents conjunctivitis during the disease. Compared with other viral conjunctivitis, we found distinctive clinical findings that could guide defining and differentiating conjunctivitis in COVID-19 patients.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: 20/336_E_COVID.