Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome is an eye problem similar to conjunctivitis ("pink eye"). It usually affects only one eye and is accompanied by nearby swollen lymph nodes and an illness with a fever.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome (POS) is caused by an infection by bacteria, virus, fungus, or a parasite.
The most common causes are cat-scratch disease and tularemia (rabbit fever). The bacteria that cause either condition can infect the eye. Either the bacteria can directly enter the eye (on a finger or other object), or air droplets that carry the bacteria can land on the eye.
Other infectious diseases may spread this same way, or through the bloodstream to the eye.
Red, irritated, and painful eye (looks like "pink eye")
Increased tearing (possible)
Swelling of nearby lymph glands (often in front of the ear)
Signs and tests
An examination shows:
Fever and other signs of illness
Red, tender, inflamed eye
Tender lymph nodes may be present in front of the ear
There may be growths (conjunctival nodules) on the inside of the eylid or the white of the eye
Blood tests will be done to check for infection. A white blood cell count may be high or low, depending on the cause of the infection.
Blood tests to check antibody levels is the main method used to diagnose many of the infections that cause POS. Other tests may include:
Laboratory culture of eye fluids, lymph node tissue, or blood
Depending on the cause of the infection, antibiotics may be helpful. Surgery may be necessary in rare cases to clean away the infected tissues.
The outlook depends on the cause of the infection. In general, if the diagnosis is made early and treatment starts immediately, the outcome of POS can be very good.
Serious complications are rare.
The conjunctival nodules can sometimes form sores (ulcers) during the healing process. The infection can spread to nearby tissues or into the bloodstream.
Calling your health care provider
You should call your health care provider if you develop a red, irritated, painful eye.
Frequent hand washing can reduce the likelihood of getting POS. Avoid being scratched by a cat, even a healthy cat. You can avoid tularemia by not having contact with wild rabbits, squirrels, or ticks.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.