Keratoplasty After Mustard Gas Injury: Clinical Outcome and Histology

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Ocular injury by mustard gas can lead to severe eye damage with a delayed course. We report the corneal histology and follow-up after keratoplasty in a patient with mustard gas injury.


The patient presented with recurrent painful corneal inflammation in both eyes not improving under local therapy. Visual acuity impaired to handmovements. A penetrating keratoplasty was performed on the left eye and afterwards an autorotation keratoplasty on the right eye with a later corneal graft.


After the operation of the left eye the patient was immediately painfree and the visual acuity improved to 0,4. So far there have been no signs for transplant rejection or inflammation. Histology of the cornea revealed massive stromal necrosis, and signs of chronic inflammation. Despite denervation of the cornea after autorotation keratoplasty the right eye was still painful and became only painfree after corneal transplantation.


There has been not much experience with corneal transplanation after mustard gas injury and there is a high risk for transplant rejection due to inflammation and vascularisation of the cornea. Succesfull and painfree healing with keratoplasty seems only possible after complete removal of the necrotic material.

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