Ocular toxocariasis: Epidemiologic, anatomic, and therapeutic variations based on a survey of ophthalmic subspecialists

Academic Article


  • Purpose: To assess the current burden of ocular toxocariasis (OT) and to gain knowledge regarding the diagnostic and treatment practices used in the ophthalmologic community in the United States. Design: Web-based, cross-sectional survey. Participants: Subspecialty ophthalmologists who are currently practicing in the United States. Methods: An electronic survey was sent to 3020 ophthalmologic subspecialists belonging to the American Uveitis Society (AUS), the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS), or the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) to capture demographic, clinical, diagnostic, and treatment data on patients with OT seen in their practices between September 2009 and September 2010. Main Outcome Measures: The demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical characteristics of each reported patient with OT. Results: A total of 159 patients with OT were reported by 559 respondents (19%). The median patient age was 11.5 years (range, 1-66 years). Seventy-two patients (45%) with OT lived in the Southern region of the United States. Thirty-one (69%) of 45 patients with OT owned a dog or cat. Vision loss was reported in 46 (85%) of 54 patients with OT; 32 (71%) of 45 patients had permanent vision loss, 13 patients (29%) had temporary vision loss, and duration of vision loss was unreported for 1 patient. Of the 32 patients with OT with permanent vision loss, 30 (94%) had a subretinal granulomatous mass/scar, peripheral granuloma with traction bands, or posterior pole granuloma noted on ophthalmologic examination. Subretinal granulomatous mass/scar, vitritis, and scotoma were the most common ophthalmologic signs found on examination of patients with OT. Conclusions: Ocular toxocariasis continues to occur in the United States, where it affects mainly children and causes permanent vision loss in many patients. Healthcare professionals should counsel patients and their family members about prevention strategies in an effort to decrease infection rates and morbidity due to Toxocara. Further improvement of diagnostic and treatment tools is needed to assist ophthalmologists in treating patients with OT. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article. © 2012 American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Ophthalmology  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Woodhall D; Starr MC; Montgomery SP; Jones JL; Lum F; Read RW; Moorthy RS
  • Start Page

  • 1211
  • End Page

  • 1217
  • Volume

  • 119
  • Issue

  • 6