Ocular Features and Associated Systemic Findings in SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Michele Cavalleri, Maria Brambati, Vincenzo Starace, Luigi Capone, Francesco Nadin, Matteo Pederzolli, Francesca Gorgoni, Carlo Di Biase, Eleonora Corbelli, Marco Battista, Alessio Grazioli Moretti, Domenico Grosso, Francesco Bandello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purposes: To describe the prevalence of ocular features among COVID-19 patients and their relationship with clinical data, inflammatory markers and respiratory support therapy (including CPAP); to investigate SARS-CoV-2 in ocular secretions of symptomatic patients. Methods: 172 COVID-19 patients were evaluated for presence of ocular manifestations. Clinical and laboratory data were also reviewed. Conjunctival swabs were analyzed for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR. Results: Forty-five patients (26.2%) reported ocular manifestations. Patients treated with CPAP were more likely to have ocular abnormalities (p <.01). The presence of ocular symptoms was not associated with more significant alterations on blood tests. Conjunctival swabs from patients with suspect conjunctivitis yielded negative results for SARS-CoV-2. Conclusions: Ocular features are not infrequent in COVID-19 patients, but the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in ocular secretions is low. Ocular manifestations in hospitalized COVID-19 patients can also be a consequence of respiratory support therapy. Prevention of possible transmission through ocular secretions is still recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)916-921
Number of pages6
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 17 2020


  • conjunctivitis
  • COVID-19
  • RT-PCR
  • SARS-CoV-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Ophthalmology


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