Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Symblepharon

Contributor(s): David L Williams

Introduction

  • Cause: adhesion of conjunctival tissue to either another conjunctival surface or to the cornea.
  • Can be congenital but more commonly secondary to severe corneal and conjunctival loss or injury (especially chemical), or iatrogenic following eyelid surgery.
  • Signs: reduced vision, otherwise asymptomatic.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs.
  • Treatment: surgery if the condition is severe but readhesions complicate the repair.
  • Prognosis: good/poor depending on severity.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Eyelid/conjunctival injury, especially chemical.
  • Abscessation of eyelid.
  • Iatrogenic - previous eyelid surgery.
  • Congenital - often in association with other ocular defects, eg microphthalmos.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Chemical injury to the eye.
  • Previous surgery involving the conjunctiva.
  • Eyelid abscessation.

Pathophysiology

  • Adhesions of conjunctival tissue (palpebral, bulbar or nictitating) to another conjunctival surface or to the cornea → reduced eyelid mobility → exposure keratopathy and/or impaired vision Symblepharon Cavalier King Charles Spaniel 15 weeks.
  • Lacrimal puncta may be occluded resulting in epiphora.
  • Ulceration of contacting epithalial surfaces → adhesion.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Roper-Hall M J (1989)The eyelids and reconstructive (plastic) surgery.In: Stallard (ed)Eye Surgery.7th edition. London: Wright, pp 64.
  • Munger R J (1985)The conjunctiva.In: Slatter D H (ed)Textbook of small animal surgeryW B Sanders, Philadelphia. pp 1469.


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