Woman with COPD develops white film on eye

May 16, 2018

Figure 1 Quiz of the Week

An 85-year-old woman is admitted to the hospital with COPD. She is treated with bronchodilators, oral glucocorticoids, antibiotics, and non-invasive ventilation for 7 days. A new thin white film appears on the patient’s cornea. It does not slough with swabbing, and the patient is asymptomatic.

What is the most likely diagnosis?

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Image credit: @JenkinsMD.


Answer: Exposure keratopathy

Decreased lubrication of the corneal and scleral surface can be due to decreased blink frequency, inadequate eyelid closure, or environmental factors. In this case, the surface of the eye has formed a film as it has become dry. This is likely a result of high-pressure air flow across the eye during the use of non-invasive ventilation.

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