Corneal Endothelial Decompensation after Ocular Chemical Burn: Description of a New Finding

Alexandra Steinemann*, Frank Blaser, Eitan Livny, Philipp Baenninger, Marvin Marti, Nadine Gerber-Hollbach, Laura Eggenschwiler, Zisis Gatzioufas, David Goldblum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Ocular chemical burn is an ophthalmological emergency. Therefore, chemical injuries should be promptly addressed in order to initiate the appropriate treatment as soon as possible and optimize the visual prognosis. We present a retrospective study of ten cases with ocular chemical burn including one with superglue and one with a liquid plaster material injury and describe their clinical course. History and Signs Ten adult patients (34-92 years, 8 males) presented with moderate to severe alkali or neutral chemical burns in our emergency clinics. They exhibited a variable degree of conjunctival injection, limbal ischemia, corneal erosion, and Descemet's folds. Therapy and Outcome Patients were treated and complete corneal epithelial closure was achieved in all cases without significant signs of limbal stem cell insufficiency. Corneal endothelial insufficiency was observed in all cases. Nine patients had to be listed for corneal endothelial keratoplasty and one was treated with Descemet's stripping endothelial automated keratoplasty. Conclusions Isolated corneal endothelial decompensation after chemical burns has not yet been described. The pathophysiological explanation of this observation remains, however, unknown. In view of this rare complication, it is important to follow patients after chemical ocular burn for possible development of endothelial decompensation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalKlinische Monatsblatter fur Augenheilkunde
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • Diphoterine
  • Trauma
  • chemical burn
  • endothelial decompensation
  • endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK)


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