Myopia progression is a significant public health issue. Methods to halt myopia progression in minors continue to gain momentum. Orthokeratology, with market penetrance estimates approximating 1%, is a corneal reshaping therapy and potential myopia progression treatment. Our objective was to explore whether orthokeratology may increase the frequency of Acanthamoeba keratitis compared with other lens modalities.
Individuals less than 18 years diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Cornea Service between January 1st, 2003, and December 31st, 2016, were retrospectively reviewed. Subjects were grouped by lens modality (soft, rigid gas permeable [RGP], and orthokeratology), and all cases with orthokeratology lens use were reviewed. The primary outcome was a history of orthokeratology lens use in minors diagnosed with AK.
Forty-seven contact lens users less than 18 years were diagnosed with AK. The mean age was 15.0 years (range 12-17), 26 (55%) were women, and 4 (8.5%) had bilateral disease. Lens modality included 6 (13%) with orthokeratology, 39 (83%) with soft contact lenses, 0 with nonorthokeratology RGP (0%), and 2 (4%) unknown.
The proportion of orthokeratology cases among AK minors (13%) in our case series exceeds the expected proportion of orthokeratology cases expected based on orthokeratology market penetrance (1%). Results from this case series suggest a potential increased risk of AK in orthokeratology users compared with other lens modalities. In the context of the current myopia epidemic and concerns for halting myopia progression in minors, caution should be exercised when selecting appropriate treatment options to minimize the risk of AK.