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December 1983

Corneal Iron Lines After Refractive Keratoplasty

Author Affiliations

From the Lions Eye Research Laboratories, Department of Ophthalmology, Louisiana State University Medical Center, New Orleans (Drs Koenig, McDonald, Yamaguchi, and Friedlander), and the Eye Research Institute of Retina Foundation, Boston (Dr Ishii).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(12):1862-1865. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040020864004

• Twenty-three of 55 patients who underwent refractive keratoplasty for the correction of aphakia were found to have a pigmented corneal epithelial line similar to the Fleischer ring. In 21 of 23 cases, the pigmented ring was adjacent to the superficial keratectomy scar that resulted from the keratorefractive operation. In two cases, the pigmented line was located central to the lamellar keratectomy scar. Histopathologic study demonstrated that the line was due to iron in the form of ferritin particles deposited within basal corneal epithelial cells. We believe that the steep anterior corneal curvature (average, 51.45 diopters) and changes in corneal topography at or central to the margin of the lamellar keratoplasty may lead to malapposition of the eyelid to the cornea and cause disturbances in the precorneal tear film. Iron from the tears may then be deposited in the corneal epithelium in areas of tear pooling.

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