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Unusually delayed presentation of persistent Descemet’s membrane tear and detachment after cataract surgery

Authors Morkin M, Hussain R, Young R, Ravin T, Dubovy S, Alfonso E

Received 4 April 2014

Accepted for publication 15 May 2014

Published 28 August 2014 Volume 2014:8 Pages 1629—1632

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S65520

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Melina I Morkin,1,2 Rehan M Hussain,2 Ryan C Young,2 Tracy Ravin,2 Sander R Dubovy,2 Eduardo C Alfonso2

1Department of Ophthalmology, Shiley Eye Center, University of California – San Diego, San Diego, CA, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA

Abstract: A 51-year-old male who had undergone phacoemulsification in his left eye 11 months prior presented with complaint of sudden onset of blurred vision in the same eye. Review of his clinical course, slit-lamp exam, pachymetry, and specular endothelial microscopy led to the diagnosis of acute hydrops caused by Descemet’s membrane dehiscence at the site of the incision. He was initially managed with medical treatment and observation. In the subsequent months of follow-up, the corneal edema and the patient’s visual acuity did not improve. Intracameral gas injection was performed 7 months after presentation, but because of persistent corneal edema and nonattached Descemet’s membrane, penetrating keratoplasty was performed. Histopathologic examination confirmed the diagnosis. The patient has had a clear corneal graft since then. Although Descemet’s membrane detachment is a rather common complication after intraocular surgery, its unusually delayed presentation can also occur, and should not be confused with pseudophakic bullous keratopathy. Many mechanisms have been studied for the development of early tears and detachments after cataract surgery, but little is known about late presentations. The authors explore possible causes, and highlight the importance of instructing patients to avoid eye rubbing and any other type of trauma to the cornea after intraocular surgery.

Keywords: Descemet’s membrane tear, detachment, cataract surgery, phacoemulsification

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