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Corneal microcysts
  1. Virinder K Dhillon1,
  2. Lana A Faraj1,
  3. Mohamed S Elalfy1,2,
  4. Uday Bhatt1,
  5. Dalia G Said1,2,
  6. Harminder S Dua1
  1. 1Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology, Nottingham University Hospitals, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Cornea and Ocular Surface Unit, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Dr Virinder K Dhillon, Division of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Department of Ophthalmology, B Floor, East Block, Eye ENT Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK; dlvirinder{at}

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An 11-year-old boy presented to the Eye Casualty in March 2012 with a 2-day history of bilateral blurring of vision, preceded by some mild discomfort several days prior to that. He had no previous ocular history. On examination, his Snellen Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA) was 6/9 in his right eye (RE) and 6/6-3 in his left eye (LE). Slit-lamp examination revealed bilateral corneal microopacities. There was no conjunctival injection, and the rest of his ocular examination was unremarkable. Of note, he also had an asymptomatic erythematous rash on his cheeks.


  1. What other history would be of relevance in this case?

  2. Figure 1A,B shows the appearance of these tiny whitish opacities on slit-lamp examination. What are these opacities? What is the differential diagnosis?

  3. What is the management?

Figure 1

(A) Slit-lamp photomicrograph. Multiple small subepithelial round and white opacities and microcysts are seen in the scleral scatter adjacent to the slit beam. (B) An enhanced higher magnification (×20, diffuse illumination) view of the subepithelial microcysts. Access the article online to view this figure in colour.



  1. His medical and drug history is important. In his case, he had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), and as part of his chemotherapy regimen (week 9) for his relapsed ALL, he had just completed a cycle of high-dose systemic cytosine arabinoside (Ara-C)/cytarabine (>1 g/m2) (Hospira UK Limited, Warwickshire, UK) when his symptoms started.

    Any history of old or recent ocular trauma and any family history of ocular problems may also be relevant; important clues in considering corneal dystrophies …

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  • Contributors VKD, LAF, MSE, UB, DGS and HSD all contributed to literature search and drafting the manuscript. HSD also contributed in the conception and clinical interpretation of ocular surface findings, critically revising the article and approving the final version to be published.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.