Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Arch Ophthalmol. 2000 Jan;118(1):13-6.

The spectrum of ocular inflammation caused by euphorbia plant sap.

Author information

  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Leicester Royal Infirmary, United Kingdom.



To report the spectrum of clinical findings in patients with ocular inflammation caused by plant sap from Euphorbia species.


Clinical case series.


Ophthalmology emergency referrals in the United Kingdom.


We examined 7 patients, all of whom gave a history of recent ocular exposure to the sap of Euphorbia species.


All patients were treated with antibiotic drops or ointment (chloramphenicol). Cycloplegic and steroid drops were also used for some patients. Patients were observed until all signs and symptoms had resolved.


Symptoms, visual acuity, and clinical signs of inflammation. All patients provided a specimen of the plant for formal identification.


Initial symptoms were generally burning or stinging pain with blurred vision. In most cases, visual acuity was reduced between 1 and 2 Snellen lines. In 1 patient with age-related maculopathy, acuity dropped from 20/80 to hand motions before recovering. Clinical findings varied from a mild epithelial keratoconjunctivitis to a severe keratitis with stromal edema, epithelial sloughing, and anterior uveitis. All signs and symptoms had resolved by 1 to 2 weeks.


These cases illustrate the range of severity of Euphorbia sap keratouveitis. The condition seems to be self-limiting when managed supportively. People who work with Euphorbia plant species should wear eye protection. Clinicians managing keratopathy caused by Euphorbia species should be aware of the danger of sight-threatening infection and uveitis, particularly during the first few days.

Comment in

  • Another cause of uveitis. [Arch Ophthalmol. 2000]
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk