Non-traumatic corneal perforations: aetiology, treatment and outcomes

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To report aetiology, characteristics, treatment and main outcomes of non-traumatic corneal perforations in a single referral centre.


A retrospective review of clinical records of patients diagnosed with non-traumatic corneal perforation. The analysed data included demographic characteristics, medical history, initial and final corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), perforation aetiology, size, location, initial therapy, surgical treatment, ocular integrity and complications. A comparison between non-infectious and infectious groups was performed. Different variables were analysed through a multiple logistic regression analysis for the probability to have at least one more procedure.


We included 127 eyes of 116 patients with a mean age of 50 years and a mean follow-up of 11 months. The initial CDVA was 3.00 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution (logMAR) and the final CDVA was 2.30 logMAR (p>0.5). Regarding treatment, of the 49 eyes with an initial cyanoacrylate patch, 35 eyes (71.4%) had at least one more procedure performed (p>0.001). In comparison, of the 49 eyes with an initial tectonic penetrating keratoplasty (PK), 33 (67.3%) eyes remained stable while 16 (32.7%) eyes needed one or more interventions (p=0.004). In a multiple logistic regression analysis, an initial cyanoacrylate patch represented a probability of 4.7 times to require a subsequent procedure in comparison with an initial PK. Overall, globe integrity was achieved in 96.1% of the cases.


Corneal perforations represent an important cause of ocular morbidity. The use of a cyanoacrylate patch is useful as an initial therapy in corneal perforations; however, procedures such as PK are often necessary to achieve anatomical success, especially in non-infectious aetiologies.

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