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Descemet’s scroll in syphilitic interstitial keratitis: a case report with anterior segment evaluation and a literature review

Authors Kasetsuwan N, Reinprayoon U, Chantaren P

Received 3 March 2015

Accepted for publication 21 April 2015

Published 28 September 2015 Volume 2015:8 Pages 219—223


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Ngamjit Kasetsuwan,1,2 Usanee Reinprayoon,1,2 Patchima Chantaren2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, 2Ophthalmology Department, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Bangkok, Thailand

Purpose: To present a case of syphilitic interstitial keratitis with Descemet’s scrolls, as well as its characteristic findings in an anterior segment investigation in relation to the histopathologic findings from a literature review.
Case presentation: A case report of a 64-year-old woman with syphilitic infection presented with band keratopathy and retrocorneal scrolls. Slit-lamp photography, confocal microscopy, anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT), and ultrasound biomicroscopy were performed. Four previous reports were reviewed to describe the pathogenesis, natural history, and histopathologic and immunohistologic findings of the Descemet’s scroll.
Results: The spectacle-corrected visual acuity was 20/50 and 20/30 in the right and left eyes, respectively. The scrolls appeared as a translucent web extending from Descemet’s membrane into the anterior chamber. Confocal microscopy showed decreased endothelial cell density, pleomorphism, polymegathism, and hyperreflective fibrocellular rods with central hollow. The AS-OCT and ultrasound biomicroscopy showed rod-shaped retrocorneal scrolls. The corneal thickness was 494 microns, as measured by AS-OCT. The corneal lesion remained stable during the 6-year follow-up period without the need for keratoplasty, while the previous literature reported spontaneous and postoperative corneal decompensation.
Conclusion: We present a case of syphilitic interstitial keratitis with rare Descemet’s scrolls featuring relatively good visual acuity. Although we did not obtain the corneal tissue for examination, the anterior segment investigation provides insight into the underlying histopathology and natural disease history. The central hollow and cellular component seen during confocal microscopy might correspond to the amorphous core and the abnormal endothelial cells in the histopathologic findings. Failure to detect the corneal endothelium due to stromal opacity in these cases is possible, however, compromised endothelium may present.

Keywords: confocal microscopy, Descemet’s membrane, endothelium, retrocorneal membrane, retrocorneal scrolls

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