Published: 24/07/2015 15:19:12
Vets needed for eosinophilic keratitis research
Researchers at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) are appealing for information from vets who have seen recent Eosinophilic Keratitis (EK) conditions, an emerging issue in UK equine ophthalmology.
Despite the increased awareness of EK worldwide, the aetiopathogenesis of the disease remains poorly understood and probably underdiagnosed. The AHT is looking to define the pathogenesis and determine why some horses are particularly susceptible to this condition, in particular looking for epidemiological links, environmental factors and parasitic infestation.
Many of the clinical signs of EK are non-specific and similar to other corneal conditions such as blepharospasm, chemosis, conjunctival hyperaemia, epiphora or perilesional oedema. More specific signs include caseous mucoid discharge and white/yellow plaques often localised in the peripheral cornea. The degree of pain varies and concurrent ulceration is almost always present. Conjunctivitis may also occur in association with the keratitis or as a unique disease entity.
EK can have variable clinical presentations, from a thick caseous accumulation to a more superficial plaque of “ground-glass” appearance. They may present as chronic non-healing ulcers that respond quickly to the use of topical steroids and/or ciclosporin, or present with marked ocular discomfort and require superficial keratectomy to resolve the condition.
Two different corneal locations are classically (though not exclusively) involved in EK, the medial perilimbal cornea, often under the third eyelid, or the lateral perilimbal cornea, which may progress axially towards the central cornea.
The charity is also helping to improve and assist with EK diagnosis by providing free cytology tests for corneal scrapes to try and diagnose the condition earlier and therefore avoid secondary complications that could lead to permanent visionary impairment.
If you have seen cases that have either been diagnosed as or that you suspect to be Eosinophilic Keratitis this year, contact Sonia Gonzalez-Medina on 01638 751000 Ext: 1203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please download the submission form to accompany your samples here.
For more information on how to take part in the study, download our EK study information pack.
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