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A case report of central toxic keratopathy in a patient post TransPRK (followed by corneal collagen cross-linking)

Authors Davey N, Aslanides IM, Selimis V

Received 28 September 2016

Accepted for publication 29 December 2016

Published 15 April 2017 Volume 2017:10 Pages 131—138

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/IMCRJ.S123327

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Juan Barajas-Gamboa

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Nicholas Davey, Ioannis M Aslanides, Vasilis Selimis

Emmetropia Mediterranean Eye Institute, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Purpose: The purpose of this article is to report a case of central toxic keratopathy in a patient post transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (TransPRK), followed immediately by corneal collagen cross-linking.
Methods: This article describes the case of a 26-year-old male after bilateral aberration-free, TransPRK laser (Schwind Amaris 750S). The procedure was performed for compound myopic astigmatism in November 2015, followed immediately by accelerated corneal collagen cross-linking for early keratoconus.
Results: From day 3 post-op, tear film debris underneath both contact lenses with corneal haze and early, progressive central anterior stromal opacity formation only in the left eye were noted. At 2 weeks post-op, the left eye was noted to have a significant hyperopic shift with central corneal thinning in the anterior stroma. A central anterior stromal dense opacity had formed in the left eye with the surrounding superficial stromal haze. As of month 2, the opacity gradually started to improve in size and density. The hyperopic shift peaked at 2 months and continued to improve, largely due to epithelial compensation with a gradual recovery of stromal thickness.
Conclusion: The question remains as to what provokes the typical central corneal necrosis/thinning in central toxic keratopathy. We hypothesize that the space between the contact lens and the corneal surface post TransPRK is prone to a “pseudo-interface pathology” that could mimic diffuse lamellar keratitis-like pathology. Suboptimal lid hygiene, resulting in tear film combinations of bacteria, inflammatory cells, matrix metalloproteinases and other proteolytic enzymes, contributes to the degradation of vulnerable, exposed collagen stromal tissue post TransPRK or any surface corneal ablation. Refractive surgeons should maintain a healthy lid margin and tear film, especially in contact lens wearers, to prevent potential complications in refractive surgery procedures.

Keywords: central toxic keratopathy, laser refractive surgery, PRK, TransPRK, complications

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