Brittle cornea syndrome (BCS1 OMIM #229200, BCS2 #614170) is a rare autosomal recessive condition characterised by diffuse thinning and fragility of the cornea. Affected individuals are at risk of globe rupture and blindness after relatively minor eye trauma. We describe a 9-year-old girl with BCS1, already blind in one eye following trauma, who had a 14 mm diameter corneoscleral onlay graft to her contralateral eye to reduce gross irregular corneal astigmatism and potentially to reduce further risk from accidental injury. Although there was a significant initial improvement in the unaided visual acuity, there was subsequent visual loss from secondary glaucoma. In addition, despite the onlay graft, an acute corneal hydrops developed approximately 2 years following surgery, suggesting that in BCS1, corneal tissue degeneration or resorption continues despite external support. Finally, because secondary glaucoma is not a feature of BCS1, we speculate that the onlay graft may have reduced aqueous outflow by compression of the thinned sclera.
Keywords: anterior chamber; congenital disorders; eye; genetics; paediatric surgery.
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