To study the clinical features and etiology of recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RCES).
We examined a total of 100 patients (117 eyes) with the diagnosis of RCES who presented at our institution (Instituto Clinico Quirúrgico de Oftalmología, Bilbao, Spain). Studied data included demography, etiology, corneal location, and association with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
The mean age of patients was 44.5 (range, 14–80) years. Attributed causes of RCES were previous minor trauma (46 eyes, 39.3%), epithelial basement membrane corneal dystrophy (20 eyes, 17.1%), photorefractive keratectomy (20 eyes, 17.1%), laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (9 eyes, 7.7%), and of unknown origin (22 eyes, 18.8%). The most frequent site of RCES was the inferior paracentral cornea (68.4%), followed by the upper cornea (21.3%) and widespread location (21.3%). An association with MGD was found in 59% of patients.
RCES has various etiologies, which explains the variety in the clinical presentation of the disorder. Interestingly, a significant number of RCES patients begin to manifest the syndrome after keratorefractive surgery, and a high percentage of patients also present with MGD.