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Corneal ulcer as the presenting feature of type 2 diabetes mellitus


A 60-year-old woman, with no significant medical or ophthalmic history, presented with a unilateral large corneal ulcer and hypopyon. Despite a severely injected conjunctiva and large corneal epithelial defect, the patient denied any discomfort in the eye. The ulcer was extremely slow to heal requiring prolonged treatment with topical and systemic broad-spectrum antibiotics. Due to the corneal opacification, fundal examination was not possible. Subsequent examination of the fellow eye revealed an appearance consistent with proliferative diabetic retinopathy. She was given treatment with panretinal laser photocoagulation. There was no history of diabetes and the patient denied experiencing any of the classical symptoms of hyperglycaemia. With blood tests revealing a raised plasma glucose and Haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus was made. With the commencement of treatment for diabetes, there were signs of improvement in the corneal appearance.

  • diabetes
  • retina
  • ophthalmology
  • anterior chamber

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