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Recurrent corneal erosion syndrome
  1. Shawn Rong Lin1,
  2. Anthony J Aldave2,
  3. James Chodosh1
  1. 1 Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Howe Laboratory, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Ophthalmology, Stein Eye Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr James Chodosh, Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Howe Laboratory Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114, USA; James_Chodosh{at}MEEI.HARVARD.EDU


Recurrent corneal erosion syndrome (RCES) is a disorder characterised by a dysfunctional epithelial ecosystem. It often begins after trauma, or in the setting of epithelial basement membrane degeneration or dystrophy. Historically, RCES has been understood as a structural derangement of the anterior corneal architecture. More recently, studies have demonstrated the important role of neuropeptides in corneal homoeostasis. Thus, RCES may also be understood as a disorder of corneal epithelial cell biology. Management of RCES can be challenging, but newer therapies have demonstrated improved efficacy for this condition. This review examines the aetiology and pathogenesis of RCES, and provides an update on current and emerging treatment modalities for the management of this disorder.

  • cornea
  • cornea erosion
  • epithelial basement membrane degeneration
  • epithelial recurrent erosion dystrophy

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  • Contributors All authors made substantial contributions to the conception and design of the work. SRL wrote the first draft of the paper, and AJA and JC extensively edited the paper. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript, and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement None.