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Chie Sotozono, Mayumi Ueta, Norihiko Yokoi; Severe Dry Eye With Combined Mechanisms is Involved in the Ocular Sequelae of SJS/TEN at the Chronic Stage. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(14):DES80-DES86. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-24019.
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Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS), and its more severe variant, toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), are life-threatening diseases of the skin and mucous membranes. After the acute-stage damage subsides, serious visual impairment and severe dry eye remains as ocular sequelae. At the acute stage, ocular complications occur in 77% of SJS/TEN patients. In cases with pseudomembranous formation and/or epithelial defects, the risk of ocular sequelae increases. Among 13 slit-lamp microscopy images that we obtained of SJS/TEN patients at the chronic stage, the loss of corneal epithelial stem cells and severe meibomian gland involvement were found to be the most common disorders. Severe dry eye in SJS includes three important mechanisms: (1) aqueous tear deficiency, (2) decreased wettability of corneal surface, and (3) increased evaporation. Dry eye severity in SJS patients is often underestimated when the meniscus is first observed, as the punctum is closed due to scarring or surgery. In SJS patients with severe dry eye, the dryness results in immense eye pain, and unstable tear film related to dry eye result in a change/loss of vision. For the treatment of dry eye in SJS, it is important to suppress chronic inflammation on the ocular surface, and 2% rebamipide ophthalmic solution reportedly helps to obtain ocular surface stabilization. Scleral contact lenses, as well as the newly developed limbal-rigid contact lenses, improve the patients' visual acuity and reduce symptoms related to severe dry eye. Further studies and new therapeutic methods are needed to more effectively treat dry eye in patients afflicted with SJS/TEN.
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