J Korean Med Sci.  2020 Sep;35(35):e322. 10.3346/jkms.2020.35.e322.

Characteristics of Ocular Manifestations of Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 in Daegu Province, Korea

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 2Department of Ophthalmology, Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital, Keimyung University School of Medicine, Daegu, Korea
  • 3Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, Kyungpook National University Hospital, Daegu, Korea


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has reportedly affected almost 23 million people, with more than 800 thousand deaths globally. There have been a few reports on the ocular manifestations of COVID-19 patients in China but no reports in Korea. The present study aimed to examine ocular manifestations of COVID-19 patients in Korea.
COVID-19 patients admitted from March 2020 to April 2020 at Keimyung University Dongsan Hospital and Keimyung University Daegu Dongsan Hospital were reviewed retrospectively for ocular manifestations. During the period of hospitalization, ocular symptoms as well as blood test results were noted and analyzed. Patients were then divided into the first-episode and relapsed group and ocular symptoms were analyzed in the groups.
A total of 103 patients were included in this study. Among them, 71patients were in the first-episode group and 32 patients in the relapsed group. No significant differences were determined in terms of positivity of ocular symptoms between the first-episode group (12 patients, 16.9%) and the relapsed group (10 patients, 31.3%, p > 0.05). Symptoms of positive upper respiratory infection and lower creatine phosphokinase were determined to be related to positive ocular symptoms. Conjunctival congestion was noted in seven patients. In the subgroup analysis, the conjunctival congestion-positive patients exhibited higher positivity of upper respiratory infection symptoms (100%) as compared with those in the negative group (40%, p = 0.017).
Positive upper respiratory infection symptoms and lower creatine phosphokinase were determined to be related to ocular symptoms in COVID-19 patients. Among these patients, positive upper respiratory infection symptoms were associated with conjunctival congestion.


Coronavirus; COVID-19; Conjunctival Congestion; Ocular Manifestations
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