PurposeTo report a case of severe bilateral descemetoceles in a patient with alpha-1 antitrypsin (A1AT) deficiency during intensive care unit hospitalization.
ObservationsA 42-year-old male presented with sub-acute bilateral vision loss during an intensive care unit hospitalization following liver and kidney transplantations. On exam, this patient's best-corrected visual acuity was 20/80 in both eyes. There were bilateral descemetoceles inferotemporally in both eyes with overlying epithelial defects and dense surrounding punctate epithelial staining. The patient was initially treated with gatifloxacin drops and frequent lubricating ointment. Given the concern for impending perforation, cyanoacrylate glue with bandage contact lens was applied to both eyes. His best corrected visual acuity remained unchanged in the right eye and improved to 20/30 in the left eye. Upon medical stabilization, anterior lamellar graft was performed in the right eye, with plans for the same treatment in the left eye in the future.
ConclusionsAs A1AT is found in the tear film and is believed to play a role in regulating protease activity in the cornea, we hypothesize that this patient's A1AT deficiency exacerbated the progression of corneal ulceration leading to severe descemetocele formation.