Ophthalmologic Approach in Epidermolysis Bullosa: A Cross-Sectional Study With Phenotype-Genotype Correlations

Cornea. 2018 Apr;37(4):442-447. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000001525.


Purpose: This study describes ophthalmologic and systemic clinical findings in different subtypes of epidermolysis bullosa (EB) establishing genotype-phenotype correlations.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 58 patients with EB together with the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association, Chile. Data were stratified by major subtypes such as "simplex epidermolysis bullosa" (EBS), "junctional epidermolysis bullosa" (JEB), "recessive and dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa" and "dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa" (DDEB), and "Kindler syndrome" (KS). The diagnosis was confirmed by skin immunofluorescence mapping and genetic testing. Best-corrected visual acuity, corneal erosions, corneal scarring, symblepharon, blepharitis, ectropion, limbal stem cell deficiency, and esophageal involvement were assessed. Clinical outcome was based on the presence of corneal involvement attributable to EB.

Results: The most common ocular manifestations were corneal erosion/scarring and recurrent erosions. Frequencies of the EB subtypes were as follows: 17% EBS, 12% JEB, 16% DDEB, 53% recessive and DDEB, and 2% KS. Patients with EBS and DDEB did not reveal ocular involvement. Patients with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) were most affected by the disease showing corneal involvement in 16 cases, whereas 2 patients with JEB and the single KS case also showed corneal disease. Before their visit, 24 patients had undergone esophageal dilation, 23 of them with RDEB and 1 with KS.

Conclusions: Although ophthalmic complications are common in EB, the incidence varied with the EB subtype. We also establish the correlation between esophageal and corneal involvement in RDEB.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Corneal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology
  • Corneal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / complications*
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / genetics
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa / pathology
  • Epidermolysis Bullosa Dystrophica / complications
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult