A case of severe dry eye disease with corneal melting as presenting complaint of acute myeloid leukaemia

Dmitri Pchejetski, Heba Alshaker, Radomir Babovic, Kyaw Maw

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Dry eye syndrome is a common multifactorial disorder of the tear film and ocular surface. In rare cases, it may be caused by systemic diseases. Corneal melting is a complication of dry eye syndrome and is a potentially blinding condition. Here we report a case of a 67-year-old patient who attended her general practitioner for a year complaining of persistent dry eyes. Ophthalmological assessment showed severe dry eye syndrome with cornea melting in left eye. Blood test revealed anaemia and thrombocytopenia with circulating blasts. Bone marrow biopsy showed 15% myeloblasts with monosomy 7, compatible with acute myeloid leukaemia. Patient was started on intensive chemotherapy regime and was a candidate for allogenic bone marrow transplant. To our knowledge, this is the first case report demonstrating dry eye syndrome with sterile corneal melting as the possible presenting complaints of acute myeloid leukaemia. This case will serve as a useful reminder to general practitioners and accident and emergency doctors about the current guidelines regarding referral of persistently symptomatic patients with dry eye syndrome for further investigation in secondary care.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open Medical Case Reports
Early online date12 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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