Case Report: In Vivo Confocal Microscopic Appearance of Corneal Argyrosis

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid



This report details the natural history of corneal argyrosis over 3 years using in vivo confocal microscopy to document regression of hyperreflective deposits, as well as effects on corneal nerves and endothelial cell morphology.


To report the in vivo confocal microscopic features and clinical characteristics of a case of bilateral corneal argyrosis.


A 52-year-old man referred to us 3 months following cautery of the palpebral conjunctiva of both eyes with a silver nitrate stick was observed over the course of 3 years, during which slit-lamp photography and in vivo confocal microscopy were performed. At the first visit, slit-lamp examination showed a light blue-green discoloration and a thick, yellow, oval discoloration in the right and left cornea, respectively. One year later, under slit-lamp examination, the right cornea appeared nearly transparent, and the discoloration in the left cornea had remarkably regressed. In vivo confocal microscopy done at that time showed highly reflective deposits in Descemet membrane of the right cornea and throughout Bowman layer, the stroma, and Descemet membrane of the left cornea. Three years later, no accumulation of silver was observed during slit-lamp examination of either eye. In vivo confocal microscopy of the right cornea did not reveal any silver deposits, and the corneal structure appeared normal. In the left cornea, some silver deposits were still evident in Descemet membrane, and alterations of corneal nerve and endothelial cell morphology were also evident.


This report reviews the 3-year natural history of a patient with corneal argyrosis. In vivo confocal microscopy demonstrates that over time the corneal argyrosis gradually resolves without any treatment. However, the presence of silver in the cornea may impact the corneal nerves and endothelial cells.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles