Bidirectional Association between Atopic Dermatitis, Conjunctivitis and other Ocular Surface Diseases: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Nina H Ravn, Zohra F Ahmadzay, Tine A Christensen, Henrik H P Larsen, Nikolai Loft, Pernille Rævdal, Steffen Heegaard, Miriam Kolko, Alexander Egeberg, Jonathan I Silverberg, Anne-Sofie Halling, Jacob P Thyssen

12 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Conjunctivitis and several other ocular surface diseases (OSDs) have been linked to atopic dermatitis (AD) and its treatment.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the association between AD, conjunctivitis, and other OSDs.

METHODS: A systematic review and meta-analysis was performed. Two authors independently searched EMBASE, PubMed, SCOPUS, and Web of Science and performed title/abstract and full-text review and data abstraction. Pooled random-effects prevalence and odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated.

RESULTS: The search yielded 5719 nonduplicate articles; 134 were included in the quantitative analysis. AD was associated with conjunctivitis compared to reference individuals (OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 2.33-3.32); the prevalences of conjunctivitis in patients with AD and reference individuals were 31.7% (95% CI, 27.7-35.9) and 13.3% (95% CI, 11.0-15.7), respectively. Keratoconus (OR, 3.71; 95% CI, 1.99-6.94) and ocular herpes simplex (OR, 3.65; 95% CI 2.04-6.51) were also associated with AD.

LIMITATIONS: Disease definitions differed and often relied on self-reports. Few studies provided data concerning AD phenotype or OSDs other than conjunctivitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Conjunctivitis is the most common ocular comorbidity in AD. Signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis and other OSDs in AD may be underreported, making proactive inquiry and examination by physicians treating patients with AD important.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Dermatology
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)453-461
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • atopic dermatitis
  • blepharitis
  • conjunctivitis
  • eczema
  • keratitis
  • keratoconus
  • meta-analysis
  • ocular surface disease


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