July 11, 2013
1 min read

Late-onset vernal keratoconjunctivitis may appear in young adults

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Young adults can present with a disease similar to vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and signs and symptoms resemble those seen in children with the disease, a study found.

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) typically presents in children and usually resolves before or just after puberty.

The retrospective study included 49 patients who presented with late-onset VKC-like disease after age 15 years. Mean age at disease onset was 20 years.

Investigators assessed disease history, allergen sensitivity, disease signs and symptoms, effect of disease on work productivity, health-related quality of life and satisfaction with treatment. They also analyzed tear cytokines in samples from 10 children with VKC, 10 adults with VKC and 10 healthy controls.

The disease resolved in nine of the 49 patients. Mean disease duration in these patients was 6.4 years; one case persisted for 13 years.

A family history of allergy was found in 28.6% of adult patients compared with 42.8% of pediatric patients; 55% of patients had positive prick test results compared with 43.2% of pediatric patients.

VKC reduced work productivity by 26% and social activities by 31% during active flare-ups.

Tear cytokine patterns were similar in adults and children with VKC.