Supratarsal injection of corticosteroid in the treatment of refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis

D. S. Holsclaw, J. P. Whitcher, I. G. Wong, T. P. Margolis

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79 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: We studied supratarsal injection of corticosteroid as a new therapeutic modality for treating severe vernal keratoconjunctivitis to determine its efficacy in treating patients refractory to all conventional therapy. METHODS: Twelve patients with vernal keratoconjunctivitis resistant to all established therapy were prospectively studied by randomly assigning them to receive supratarsal injection of either short- or intermediate- acting corticosteroid. Relief of symptoms and resolution of clinical signs were evaluated. Patients were followed up to four years to identify side effects. RESULTS: All patients experienced dramatic symptomatic relief within one to five days, regardless of the type of corticosteroid injected. Marked decrease in cobblestone papillae was noted in 14.9 days (mean) after short-acting corticosteroid injection and 12.8 days after intermediate- acting corticosteroid injection (P = .65). Shield ulcers and limbal involvement resolved in one to three weeks, independent of the corticosteroid used (P = .90). No complications were observed with supratarsal injection of short-acting corticosteroid. One patient developed persistent increase of intraocular pressure after injection of intermediate- acting corticosteroid. CONCLUSIONS: The dramatic symptomatic and clinical improvement suggests that supratarsal injection of corticosteroid may be a valuable therapeutic approach to treating refractory vernal keratoconjunctivitis. Short-acting and intermediate-acting corticosteroids were equally efficacious. Because of the lack of intraocular pressure increase observed with short-acting corticosteroid, we favor its use in supratarsal injection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


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