Surgical management of corneal plaques in vernal keratoconjunctivitis: A clinicopathologic study

Abraham Solomon, Ehud Zamir, Shmuel Levartovsky, Joseph Frucht-Pery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the surgical management and histopathologic and immunohistochemical findings in corneal plaques of shield ulcers in vernal keratoconjunctivitis. Patients and Methods: Three children (ages 4, 7.5, and 9) presented with corneal plaques unresponsive to conservative systemic and topical medical treatment. Plaques were scraped under general anesthesia, and soft bandage contact lenses were placed. The excised tissue was evaluated by histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Results: During surgery, plaques were found to extend beyond the ulcer margins. Histopathology revealed granular, deeply-eosinophilic, laminar material, firmly attached to the Bowman layer in all cases. Immunohistochemistry confirmed this to be eosinophil-derived major basic protein (MBP). After surgical removal, complete epithelization was evident within 1-4 weeks in all cases. Conclusions: Corneal plaque is a rare complication of vernal keratoconjunctivitis. These plaques usually do not resolve with standard conservative measures. Failure to epithelialize may be a result of the plaque material extending below the edges of adjacent epithelium. We suggest that MBP plaques precipitate on the denuded stromal bed, thereby playing a pathogenic role in nonhealing shield ulcers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-612
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Corneal plaques
  • Major basic protein
  • Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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