A stromal demarcation line is a well-known sign after collagen cross-linking. It has been proposed that this line is the transition zone between cellular and acellular stroma, and thus it might reveal the depth of photochemical changes in the corneal stroma. We report 2 cases of a similar demarcation line after chemical alkali burns. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a stromal demarcation line after a chemical burn.
Two patients presented to the emergency department after an ocular alkali burn. At presentation, both had total corneal erosion, corneal edema, and limbal ischemia. After 12 to 15 days, a stromal line was apparent by both slit-lamp examination and anterior segment optical coherence tomography. The stromal demarcation lines disappeared approximately 3 months after the injury.
A stromal demarcation line may appear not only after collagen cross-linking but also after a chemical burn. The line depth may be associated with the severity of the injury, and therefore, may have prognostic significance. Patients with chemical burns should be examined for evidence of a stromal line in the cornea.