Neurotrophic keratopathy

CLAO J. 2001 Apr;27(2):100-7.


Purpose: To review the causes, clinical features, course, histopathological and biochemical changes, diagnosis, andtreatmentof neurotrophic keratopathy.

Methods: We reviewed the literature on neurotrophic keratopathy.

Results and conclusions: Neurotrophic keratopathy is a clinical entity which involves all degrees of degenerative corneal and conjunctival changes secondary to loss of sensory function in the nasociliary branch of the trigeminal nerve with or without decreased tear production. One of the commonest causes of loss of corneal sensation is herpes virus infection. The clinical course of neurotrophic keratopathy varies considerably. The corneal epithelium becomes diseased and breakdown occurs even in the absence of dessication, infection, and trauma. This stage, if not treated aggressively with ocular lubricants, tarsorrhaphy, or a bandage soft contact lens, will result in stromal lysis with or without perforation. Depending on the size and location of corneal perforation, procedures like the application of cyanoacrylate glue, penetrating keratoplasty, or conjunctival flap may be required.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cornea / innervation*
  • Corneal Diseases / complications*
  • Corneal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases / therapy
  • Humans
  • Trigeminal Nerve Diseases / complications*
  • Trigeminal Nerve Diseases / diagnosis
  • Trigeminal Nerve Diseases / therapy