Temporary corneal stem cell dysfunction after radiation therapy

Hiroshi Fujishima, Jun Shimazaki, Kazuo Tsubota

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background - Radiation therapy can cause corneal and conjunctival abnormalities that sometimes require surgical treatment. Corneal stem cell dysfunction is described, which recovered after the cessation of radiation. Methods - A 44-year-old man developed a corneal epithelial abnormality associated with conjunctival and corneal inflammation following radiation therapy for maxillary cancer. He experienced ocular pain and loss of vision followed by conjunctival epithelialisation of the upper and lower parts of the cornea. Results - Examination of brush cytology samples showed goblet cells in the upper and lower parts of the cornea, which showed increased fluorescein permeability, and intraepithelial lymphocytes. Impression cytology showed goblet cells in the same part of the cornea. Specular microscopy revealed spindle type epithelial cells. Patient follow up included artificial tears and an antibiotic ophthalmic ointment. The corneal abnormalities resolved after 4 months with improved visual acuity without any surgical intervention, but the disappearance of the palisades of Vogt did not recover at 1 year after radiation. Conclusion - Radiation therapy in this patient caused temporary stem cell dysfunction which resulted in conjunctivalisation in a part of the cornea. Although limbal stem cell function did not fully recover, this rare case suggested that medical options should be considered before surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-914
Number of pages4
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume80
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Oct

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Cornea
Radiotherapy
Stem Cells
Goblet Cells
Cell Biology
Eye Pain
Radiation
Background Radiation
Ointments
Fluorescein
Visual Acuity
Microscopy
Permeability
Epithelial Cells
Lymphocytes
Anti-Bacterial Agents
Inflammation
Neoplasms
Therapeutics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

Cite this

Temporary corneal stem cell dysfunction after radiation therapy. / Fujishima, Hiroshi; Shimazaki, Jun; Tsubota, Kazuo.

In: British Journal of Ophthalmology, Vol. 80, No. 10, 10.1996, p. 911-914.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fujishima, Hiroshi ; Shimazaki, Jun ; Tsubota, Kazuo. / Temporary corneal stem cell dysfunction after radiation therapy. In: British Journal of Ophthalmology. 1996 ; Vol. 80, No. 10. pp. 911-914.
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