Ocular pyoderma gangrenosum: A systematic review

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Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare, ulcerative cutaneous disorder. Ophthalmic involvement in PG is atypical, but can have devastating consequences.


We sought to characterize ocular PG to allow for earlier diagnosis and therapy. To our knowledge, this is the first systematic review summarizing this clinical variant.


A systematic review was conducted using PubMed and Web of Science. Data were extracted and studies were qualitatively assessed and analyzed.


We identified all 34 cases of PG involving the eye and periorbital area, and categorized them into 4 different subtypes. Common presenting signs include ulceration, peripheral ulcerative keratitis, and decreased visual acuity. Although it is often difficult to biopsy ocular PG, histologic features are nonspecific. Combined therapy using corticosteroids and further surgical reconstruction as needed is the mainstay of treatment. Cases of the eye/orbit in particular should be treated aggressively, as these are more likely to relapse compared with cases of the periorbital area.


Use of case reports, paucity of ocular PG cases, and heterogeneity of studies are limitations.


PG should be considered in the differential diagnosis of ulceration of ocular/periocular tissues. An aggressive, early, multimodal treatment strategy should be used to prevent relapse, especially in cases of the eye/orbit.

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