Bilateral acute corneal calcification

Ophthalmology. 1985 Apr;92(4):537-42. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(85)34000-9.


A 38-year-old man with brittle, juvenile onset diabetes mellitus and bilateral severe dry eyes with recurrent corneal ulcers developed atypical band-shaped calcifications of both corneas during a 24-hour period. Serum calcium, phosphate, and carbon dioxide levels all were within normal limits. The patient was mildly uremic but was not in renal failure. When EDTA chelation failed to clear the deposits, partial keratectomies were performed in both eyes and the specimens were examined by light and electron microscopy, including energy dispersive x-ray analysis. Microscopic studies revealed an atypical calcific keratopathy which involved neither Bowman's layer nor the most superficial stromal lamellae. The deposits were confined to deeper lamellae in the anterior stroma and by electron microscopy were composed of extracellular crystalline aggregates. Energy dispersive x-ray analysis of these aggregates confirmed the presence of calcium and phosphate. Corneal dessication appeared to be a major contributing factor in the rapid formation of these deposits.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Calcinosis / metabolism
  • Calcinosis / pathology*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Corneal Diseases / metabolism
  • Corneal Diseases / pathology*
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Phosphorus / metabolism
  • Spectrometry, X-Ray Emission


  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium