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Xerophthalmia Because of Dietary-Induced Vitamin A Deficiency in a Young Scottish Man

Collins, Cian E MB, BCh, MRCOphth; Koay, Peter MB, BCh, FRCOphth

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3181bd9ed5
Case Report

Vitamin A deficiency causing xerophthalmia, although a major public health issue in sub-Saharan Africa, is rarely seen in people living in developed countries. In such cases, it is usually associated with severe malnutrition caused by intestinal disorders, such as celiac disease, pancreatitis, or extensive bowel surgery. Dietary-induced vitamin A deficiency leading to xerophthalmia has rarely been reported in the United Kingdom. In this case, we report on a young man who presented with corneal xerosis and whose history of corneal ulceration had not been linked to his restricted diet, which resulted in vitamin A deficiency. Unlike other cases, this young man had no history of psychiatric illness and led a normal active lifestyle.

From the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Edinburgh, United Kingdom.

Received for publication March 16, 2009; revision received August 13, 2009; accepted August 21, 2009.

Reprints: Cian E. Collins, MB, BCh, MRCOphth, Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, Chalmers St, Edinburgh EH3 9HA, United Kingdom (e-mail:

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