During a one-month period, we examined four patients referred for evaluation of probable microbial keratitis after bilateral, simultaneous radial keratotomy. Each patient had midstromal infiltrates compatible with microbial keratitis that involved one or more of the radial incisions. In two patients the keratitis was bilateral. All patients had been treated empirically with antibiotic agents; superficial cultures with cotton-tipped applicators and corneal scraping by inserting a platinum spatula into the radial incisions were negative. Corneal biopsy of one patient disclosed gram- positive rods and culture of the biopsy specimen grew diphtheroids. The infiltrates gradually resolved over a period of several months with intensive antibiotic therapy. Sight-threatening infectious keratitis can occur after radial keratotomy, and we believe that simultaneous bilateral ocular surgery of any kind should be discouraged.
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