Surgical rehabilitation following ocular chemical injury

Department of Ophthalmology, MH Ankara Training and Research Hospital , Ankara , Turkey and.
Cutaneous and Ocular Toxicology (Impact Factor: 1.12). 05/2013; 33(1). DOI: 10.3109/15569527.2013.796477
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the management of limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) secondary to chemical ocular burns.

Materials and methods:
The charts of 48 eyes of 40 patients with grade 2 or higher chemical injury were evaluated retrospectively. Subjects with follow-up longer than 1 year were included. Medical treatment, surgical correction of abnormalities of ocular adnexial structures, limbal stem cell transplantation from patient's fellow eye, from living relatives or from cadaveric donor, amniotic membrane transplantation, conjunctival epitheliectomy, chelation with ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and penetrating keratoplasty were the treatment modalities. Outcome measures were ocular surface stability and corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA). Failure was defined as the appearance of persistent epithelial defect (nonhealing epithelial defect for more than 2 weeks) with progressive corneal conjunctivalization/vascularization and thinning, and also progression of conjunctivalization to the central 6 mm of the cornea in eyes with subsequent keratoplasty.

The mean age of 31 male and 9 female patients were 32.32 ± 12.6 years. LSCD was bilateral in 8 cases. The mean follow-up was 77.2 ± 35.1 months. The presentations were in acute phase in 37.5%, in subacute phase in 32.5% and in chronic phase in 30% of the patients. Only 13 of 48 (27.1%) eyes obtained sufficient ocular surface stability through medical treatment; however, only 5 of these eyes achieved CDVA of less than 0.7 logMAR. Limbal stem cell transplantation was performed in 26 eyes as conjunctival limbal autograft, living-related conjunctival limbal allograft and keratolimbal allograft or as a combination of these transplantations. At the last visit, 30 eyes (62.5%) had an intact and stable ocular surface. Clear cornea was achieved in 11 (78.6%) of 14 eyes with grade 2 injury, in 9 (60%) of 15 eyes with grade 3 injury, in 5 (50%) of 10 eyes with grade 4 injury, in 1 (16.6%) of 6 eyes with grade 5 injury and in 1 (33.3%) of 3 eyes with grade 6 injury. The CDVA that was 1.66 ± 0.99 logMAR initially improved to 0.87 ± 0.85 logMAR at the last visit (p < 0.001).

While patients with low-grade chemical injury seem to benefit quite well from the medical treatment, amniotic membrane transplantation, limbal graft transplantation and subsequent keratoplasty; patients with severe injuries seem to be more prone to failure after all of the available treatment modalities.

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