JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Recurrent corneal erosion associated with Alport's syndrome. Rapid communication.

Ocular defects associated with Alport syndrome (AS) include anterior lenticonus and retinal flecks. We report on recurrent corneal erosion (RCE) as another ocular manifestation of the disease. Three brothers with AS reported a history of spontaneous attacks of RCE (2 episodes over 1 to 3 years in 2 of them and about 60 episodes in one brother over the last 10 years) characterized by acute ocular pain, lacrimation and photophobia lasting two to five days. The absence of RCE in the two other non-affected brothers from the same kindred suggested an association between AS and RCE, and prompted us to assess its prevalence. Forty-one patients with AS and renal failure and 67 control transplanted patients (with another original nephropathy) were evaluated. Seven AS patients had a history of RCE (first manifested between the ages of 12 and 21) versus only one control patient (P = 0.003). In conclusion, a history of RCE is found in about 20% of patients with AS and renal failure. RCE is likely to result from an inherent structural weakness of the corneal epithelial basement membrane (containing type IV collagen). A history of RCE should be sought when evaluating a patient for AS. Ophthalmologists should also be aware of this association, when confronted with a patient suffering from non-traumatic RCE.

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