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August 1995

Corneal Edema Due to Asclepias curassavica

Author Affiliations

Basel, Switzerland

Arch Ophthalmol. 1995;113(8):974-975. doi:10.1001/archopht.1995.01100080024013

Plants of the genus Asclepias are widely distributed, mainly in the tropics and subtropics. They can be responsible for the poisoning of livestock, and their latex may cause skin irritation.1Asclepias curassavica (commonly called blood flower, silkweed, or milkweed) is a shrub that occasionally is available at horticultural centers. It grows to a height of up to 1.5 m and is used in gardens for decorative purposes (Figure 1, left). To our knowledge, no ocular effects due to the handling of this plant have been reported until now.

Report of a Case.  A 60-year-old male patient had hazy vision in the left eye after working in his garden the previous day. His hands had come in contact with the white, milky latex of A curassavica (Figure 1, right), and he had rubbed his left eye immediately afterward. On examination, about 18 hours after the incident, the left eye had

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