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Trans-stromal epithelial cyst after multiple lamellar keratoplasties - Case report and review of literature.



Single Observational Case Report.


A 67-year-old male of Persian descent had a complex systemic and ocular history prior to a right penetrating keratoplasty (PK) reported here. The clinical diagnoses leading to the PK included Cogan's syndrome, chronic uveitis, secondary glaucoma, and corneal stromal scarring, presumed secondary to a corneal ulcer diagnosed on the second visit to our clinic. The specimen described here had been in place for 11 months and 17 days after the third failed Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK). Visual acuities had ranged from 20/100 to 20/400 in both eyes. Visual acuity in the right eye just before surgery was 20/400. Intraocular pressures were 22 mmHg in both eyes with functioning Ahmed glaucoma shunts. The stromal cyst was not suspected preoperatively and no clinical imaging was performed.

Study methods

Histopathology including serial sections and immunohistochemistry.


Histologic study demonstrated a trans-stromal corneal epithelial cyst without goblet cells that extended through a 500 μm gap in the donor tissue surface and edge.


This large stromal cyst was an unusual complication of serial posterior lamellar keratoplasties and we postulate that multiple prior posterior lamellar grafts may have been a risk factor for this complication. Anterior segment imaging with either anterior segment optical coherence tomography or high-resolution ultrasound would likely have detected this stromal cyst.

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