Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome: Eye infection with red eye

Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome (POS) is a rare eye infection caused by a variety of pathogens , including bacteria, fungi and viruses. The patient has a clinical picture that is comparable to conjunctivitis. This causes various eye problems in one eye. Other signs also occur, such as fever and swollen lymph nodes. Thanks to rapid diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis is usually excellent.

  • Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome versus Parinaud syndrome
  • Causes
  • Bacteria
  • Mold
  • Viruses
  • Spread
  • Symptoms
  • Eye
  • Other signs
  • Diagnosis and examinations
  • Therapy
  • Prognosis of eye infection and symptoms of disease
  • Complications
  • Prevention


Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome versus Parinaud syndrome

Parinaud syndrome is not the same as Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome. With Parinaud syndrome, a patient has difficulty looking up. This is the result of a brain tumor and requires an immediate comprehensive examination by the doctor and ophthalmologist.



Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome has been associated with several infectious diseases, most notably cat-scratch disease (caused by Bartonella henselae ) and tularemia (disease with skin and lung symptoms) (caused by Francisella tularensis ). Sometimes the condition also occurs with tuberculosis (bacterial infection with lung problems), atypical mycobacteria and syphilis.


Fungal infections have also been associated with this syndrome, especially sporotrichosis ( S. schenckii ), blastomycosis ( Blastomyces dermatitidis ), and coccidioidomycosis ( Coccidioides immitis ).


Some viruses also cause the eye infection (herpes simplex virus).


The pathogens enter directly into the eye (via a finger or other object). However, sometimes the transmission of the infection also occurs via droplet infection. Sneezing or coughing may cause contaminated air droplets to enter the eye. Finally, spread of the organism via the bloodstream to the eye is also possible



Usually only one eye is affected. The affected eye resembles an eye affected by conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva).The symptoms of Parinaud oculogland ular syndrome include:

  • an irritated eye
  • a sensitive and painful eye
  • an inflamed eye
  • a red eye
  • a watery eye (sometimes)


Other signs

The condition occurs in combination with swelling of nearby swollen lymph nodes (often in front of the ear on the same side as the affected eye), a general ill feeling and fever.An extensive blood test is necessary / Source: Jeff Dahl, Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA-3.0)

Diagnosis and examinations

A doctor notices the present signs of fever with an illness. An eye examination by an ophthalmologist is also necessary. He identifies swellings (conjunctival nodules) on the inside of the eyelid or the white of the eye. A blood test reveals the presence of an infection. The white blood cell count is high or low depending on the cause of the infection. A blood test checks antibody levels. This is the main method for diagnosing many of the infections that cause Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome. Other tests include a biopsy of the lymph node and a laboratory culture of eye fluid, lymph node tissue, or blood.


Depending on the cause of the infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics (if there is a bacterial infection). Antifungal drugs (antifungal drugs) fight a fungal infection, while antiviral drugs are used to treat viral infections. In rare cases, surgery is necessary to remove the infected tissues and clean the area.

Prognosis of eye infection and symptoms of disease

The outlook of the condition depends on the cause of the infection. If the doctor makes the diagnosis early and starts treatment right away, the outcome of Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome is generally very good.


Serious complications of Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome are rare. The conjunctival nodules sometimes become ulcerated during the healing process. The eye infection also sometimes spreads to nearby tissues or into the bloodstream.Washing hands regularly is necessary / Source: Gentle07, Pixabay


Washing hands regularly reduces the risk of developing Parinaud oculoglandular syndrome. Preventing cat scratch disease is possible by avoiding scratches from a (healthy) cat (if possible). Avoiding tularemia is possible by not having contact with wild rabbits, squirrels or ticks.

read more

  • Cat scratch disease: Skin lesions and swollen lymph nodes
  • Tularemia: Bacterial infection by infected (wild) animals
  • Eye infections due to bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • Eye infections caused by fungi: Fungal infections of the eyes
  • Eye infections due to viruses: Viral infections of the eye or eyes