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    Corneal degeneration is more common in white women

    Peripheral hypertrophic subepithelial corneal degeneration is an uncommon disorder that occurs mostly in white women with a distinct phenotype, claims a study in the journal Ophthalmology.

    The retrospective case series, led by Dr Daniel M. Gore, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK, involved 22 patients under care of the External Disease Service at the hospital. The main outcome measures were clinical phenotype, symptoms, recurrence rate after surgery and histopathologic results.

    Of the patients studied, 91% had peripheral and bilateral disorders and 41% had elevated circumferential peripheral subepithelial corneal opacities and adjacent abnormal limbal vasculature, with or without pseudopterygia. Seven patients from the latter group had bilateral disease.

    The symptoms included ocular surface discomfort in 45% of patients, reduced vision in 18% of patients and both symptoms present in 23% of patients. It was discovered that 14% of patients were asymptomatic, 36% were administered topical lubricants, one patient required spectacles and 32% of patients underwent superficial keratectomy. The histopathologic changes were similar to those found in pterygia and Salzmann’s nodular degeneration.

    Surgical excision was performed in 30% of the patients with infrequent short-term recurrences. The cause of peripheral hypertrophic subepithelial corneal degeneration is still unknown.

    The paper can be viewed here.

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