Thimerosal: a hidden allergen in ophthalmology

Antonella Tosti, Giovanni Tosti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


We report 36 patients with thimerosal-induced follicular allergic contact conjunctivitis. 18 patients had follicular conjunctivitis without eyelid involvement, while 5 patients had follicular conjunctivitis associated with an allergic contact dermatitis of the eyelids; all these patients had been using thimerosal-containing eye drops. A further 13 patients were soft contact lens wearers who became sensitized to their own thimerosal-containing lens solutions. All 36 patients showed a positive patch test reaction to thimerosal, while only 1 of them reacted to an ophthalmic solution. Thimerosal sensitization appears to be clinically relevant in ophthalmic patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-273
Number of pages6
JournalContact dermatitis
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1988
Externally publishedYes


  • allergic contact conjunctivitis
  • benzalkonium chloride
  • chlorhexidine
  • contact lens intolerance
  • eye drops
  • follicular conjunctivitis
  • medicaments
  • thimerosal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Dermatology


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