Coordinamento: Rosario Cavallo, Pediatra di famiglia, Salice Salentino, Lecce; Fulvio Parentin, SC Oculistica e Strabologia,
IRCCS Materno-Infantile “Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste
Pediatri di famiglia partecipanti: EMILIA ROMAGNA: Caracalla M., Gorini S., Panza C.; FRIULI VENEZIA GIULIA: Lizzi D., Ulliana A.; LAZIO: Reali L.; LOMBARDIA: Di Francesco C., Narducci M., Zanetto F.; PUGLIA: Altavilla T., Bonavota L., Casile C., Cavallo R., Chiriacò G., Cimino S., Dell'Edera L., Donno A., Giuliano B., Guacci P., Innocente M., Lisi V., Lombardo D., Peschiulli G., Petrone D., Rella F., Santoro A., Simeone G., Truppa G.; SICILIA: Amoruso B., Primavera G., Spataro A.; TOSCANA: Castelli S., Neri P.; UMBRIA: Bianchi S.; VENETO: Comacchio S., Fusco F., Matticchio G., Pasinato A., Sambugaro D.
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Key words: Vernal keratoconjunctivitis, Observational study, Praecox diagnosis
Background - Vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) is a chronic-recurrent type of conjunctivitis
that may negatively affect the quality of life of patients. It is a rare disease that mainly
affects the paediatric age group and tends to resolve in the pubertal age. VKC is usually
disregarded both by paediatricians and ophthalmologists.
Objectives - To verify the prevalence of VKC and its management modalities in a reference population of 35,000 children and adolescents aged < 16 years by a study group of 39 Italian family paediatricians.
Methods - It is an observational study. The study group received a diagnostic protocol on VKC and other forms of conjunctivitis. During the study season the group of paediatricians highlighted all the cases of Vernal among their patients. The paediatricians specified whether the VKC diagnosis was already known or was made during the season, whether there was a reacutization during the study season or a remission and the administered therapy.
Results - 94 VKC cases were observed (34 new diagnoses and 60 cases that had been identified in the previous years), with a prevalence of 1 case/377 (26.5:10,000 patients < 16 years). The incidence of new cases / year in the assisted population is 1 case / 1,042 assisted children (9.6/10,000 children < 16 years). 59 children were treated with cortisone eye drops, 13 were treated both with cortisone and cyclosporine eye drops and 22 with cyclosporine eye drops.
Conclusions - VKC is probably a much more frequent disease than it is generally thought of. Family paediatricians can make an efficacious praecox diagnosis and, with the help of the ophthalmologists, manage and treat this pathology that is often disregarded.
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