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Incidence of corneal melting in association with systemic disease in the Yorkshire Region, 1995–7
  1. M McKibbina,
  2. J D Isaacsb,
  3. A J Morrella
  1. aDepartment of Ophthalmology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, bDepartment of Rheumatology, St James’s University Hospital, Leeds
  1. Mr Martin McKibbin, Eye Clinic, Leeds General Infirmary, Belmont Grove, Leeds LS2 9NS.


AIMS To estimate the incidence of corneal melting or necrotising keratitis in association with systemic disease in the Yorkshire Region and to determine the type and duration of the systemic association.

METHODS In a prospective study, vigorous attempts were made to identify all patients presenting with newly diagnosed corneal melting over a 3 year period.

RESULTS 27 patients were identified during the study period. Rheumatoid arthritis and Wegener’s granulomatosis were the most common disease associations. Corneal melting was a late complication of rheumatoid arthritis, but usually occurred during early and overt systemic disease in patients with Wegener’s granulomatosis.

CONCLUSION The annual incidence of corneal melting in the Yorkshire Region is 3.01/million/year (95% CI = 0.7–9.6).

  • corneal melting
  • vasculitis
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis
  • rheumatoid arthritis

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