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Intraocular Pressure-Induced Interlamellar Keratitis after LASIK Surgery

Davidson, Richard S. MD*; Brandt, James D. MD; Mannis, Mark J. MD

Original Articles

Purpose To describe a case of interlamellar stromal keratitis induced by increased intraocular pressure (IOP) after LASIK surgery.

Methods Case report and review of the literature.

Results A 53-year-old white man with a history of treated ocular hypertension underwent uncomplicated LASIK surgery. The postoperative course was complicated by markedly elevated IOP induced by topical corticosteroid drops used to treat what appeared to be diffuse lamellar keratitis. Because IOPs remained uncontrolled despite maximal therapy, topical steroids were discontinued after a total of 9 weeks. The IOP rapidly returned to normal range with complete resolution of the corneal findings. Humphrey visual field analysis, confocal scanning laser imaging of the optic nerve, and stereoscopic disc photographs all demonstrated that significant glaucomatous field loss and optic atrophy developed over this 8-week period.

Discussion The IOP should be immediately evaluated in patients who present with interlamellar stromal keratitis more than 1 week after LASIK. If the IOP is elevated, corticosteroid drops should be discontinued to prevent permanent visual loss. Furthermore, if a glaucoma specialist examines a patient with a history of LASIK and unexplained visual field loss, the medical record should be reviewed to determine if the postoperative course was complicated by this diffuse lamellar keratitis–like phenomenon.

Department of Ophthalmology, *University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, and †University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California

Received July 19, 2002;

sent for revision September 3, 2002; accepted November 4, 2002.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Mark J. Mannis, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA 95817-2307. E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.