Illustration(s) pertain to the topic addressed in this publication, not the specific research or data presented in the publication

A pseudoepidemic of postoperative scleritis due to misdiagnosis


OBJECTIVE: To describe a pseudoepidemic of infectious scleritis following eye surgery.

METHODS: Retrospective cohort study with selected procedural and laboratory investigations.

RESULTS: Twenty-one patients with postoperative scleritis were identified during a 2-month outbreak. Neither an infectious etiology nor a causative pre-, intra-, or postoperative exposure was found. The clinical findings, when carefully reviewed, were consistent with poor surgical-wound closure.

CONCLUSIONS: The art of clinical diagnosis involves the subjective interpretation of clinical history, physical findings, and laboratory results. A repeated error in the interpretation of clinical findings can simulate an outbreak of disease. Clinicians may be reluctant to concede misdiagnosis.

Burwen DR, Margo CE, McNeil MM, Brown JM, Tapelband G, Jenkins RB, Jarvis WR

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 1999 Aug;20(8):539-42

PMID: 10466553