Delayed mustard gas keratopathy: clinical findings and confocal microscopy

Am J Ophthalmol. 1999 Oct;128(4):506-7. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(99)00178-6.


Purpose: To describe the clinical manifestations and confocal microscopic findings in a patient with delayed mustard gas keratopathy.

Method: Case report. A 32-year-old veteran who had participated in the Iran Iraq conflict was exposed to mustard gas in 1988. Ocular abnormalities in 1996 and 1998 and corneal confocal microscopic findings in 1998 are presented.

Results: In 1996, slit-lamp examination disclosed bilateral limbal changes with tortuous blood vessels and full-thickness corneal alterations. In 1998, the right eye had porcelain-white episcleral changes and adjacent peripheral ulcerative keratopathy. Confocal microscopy demonstrated irregular-appearing epithelial and basal epithelial cells. The anterior stroma was remarkable for spindle-like keratocytes, diffuse fibrillar inhomogeneities and the presence of highly reflective material.

Conclusions: Mustard gas keratopathy is a uncommon cause of ocular damage, but it may lead to delayed ocular damage.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chemical Warfare*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Corneal Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology*
  • Corneal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Corneal Ulcer / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Indian Ocean
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Mustard Gas*
  • Sclera / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Veterans
  • Visual Acuity
  • Warfare


  • Mustard Gas