OBJECTIVE: To determine how often chlamydial conjunctivitis is accompanied by a genital chlamydial infection and if there is a correlation between the dominant hand and the eye first infected. METHODS: We retrospectively studied the records of 65 patients with chlamydial conjunctivitis who were referred to the Outpatient Department of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) of the University Hospital Rotterdam by ophthalmologists of the Eye Hospital Rotterdam. The patients have recently been asked by letter if they were left- or right-handed. RESULTS: Twenty of the 37 men (54%) had a positive chlamydial urethral culture. Seventy per cent of these men had no genital symptoms. Eight of the 37 men (22%) had a non-specific urethritis (NSU). Twenty of the 27 women examined (74%) had a positive chlamydial cervical culture. Sixty per cent of these women had no genital symptoms. Eight women with a genital chlamydial infection also had another genital infection. Five women without a genital chlamydial infection had another genital infection. Two women had no genital infection at all. A correlation between the eye infected and left- or right-handedness of the patient could not be found. CONCLUSIONS: A considerable percentage of the patients with a chlamydial conjunctivitis had a concomitant genital chlamydial infection. The majority of them had no genital symptoms. Since patients with chlamydial conjunctivitis and/or their partners possibly have a concomitant genital chlamydial infection, we recommend referral of both patients and sexual partners to an STD clinic for routine examination and systemic treatment when indicated.
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