Management of Descemet Membrane Detachment After Forceps Birth Injury

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To describe the clinical signs of Descemet membrane (DM) detachment due to forceps-related birth injury and its subsequent management using optical coherence tomography.


Case report.


A 3-day-old term infant presented with left eye corneal clouding and a definitive history of traumatic forceps-assisted delivery. Despite topical therapy, corneal clouding persisted, necessitating an examination under anesthesia using ultrasound and handheld optical coherence tomography. This revealed not only a tear in DM but also a large detachment. Injection of air alone failed to achieve apposition of DM to the posterior stroma. Apposition was achieved only after penetration of the overlying cornea with the needle of a 10-0 nylon suture and release of clear viscous fluid. The cornea cleared within the first week and continued in the months to follow.


Prolonged corneal edema should alert the physician to probable DM detachment after forceps-related birth injury. Injecting air alone may not be sufficient to reattach the detached DM.

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