Interventions for acute internal hordeolum

Kristina Lindsley, Jason J. Nichols, Kay Dickersin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background: Hordeolum is a common, painful inflammation of the eyelid margin that is usually caused by bacterial infection. The infection affects oil glands of the eyelid and can be internal or external. In many cases, the lesion drains spontaneously and resolves untreated; however, the inflammation can spread to other ocular glands or tissues, and recurrences are common. If unresolved, acute internal hordeolum can become chronic or can develop into a chalazion. External hordeola, also known as styes, were not included in the scope of this review. Objectives: The objective of this review was to investigate the effectiveness and safety of nonsurgical treatments for acute internal hordeolum compared with observation or placebo. Search methods: We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 7), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE, (January 1950 to July 2012), EMBASE (January 1980 to July 2012), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to July 2012), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (, ( and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) ( We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 26 July 2012. Selection criteria: The selection criteria for this review included randomized or quasi-randomized clinical trials of participants diagnosed with acute internal hordeolum. Studies of participants with external hordeolum (stye), chronic hordeolum, or chalazion were excluded. Nonsurgical interventions of interest included the use of hot or warm compresses, lid scrubs, antibiotics, or steroids compared with observation, placebo, or other active interventions. Data collection and analysis: Two review authors independently assessed the references identified by electronic searches for inclusion in this review. No relevant studies were found. The reasons for exclusion were documented. Main results: No trials were identified for inclusion in this review. Most of the references identified from our search reported on external hordeola or chronic internal hordeola. The few references specific to acute internal hordeolum reported mostly recommendations for treatment or were reports of interventional case series, case studies, or other types of observational study designs and were published more than 20 years ago. Authors' conclusions: We did not find any evidence for or against the effectiveness of nonsurgical interventions for the treatment of hordeolum. Controlled clinical trials would be useful in determining which interventions are effective for the treatment of acute internal hordeolum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberCD007742
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 30 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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