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Clin Ophthalmol. 2011;5:1067-9. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S19779. Epub 2011 Jul 29.

A case of recurrent bloody tears.

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  • 1İstanbul Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery and Ocular Oncology Center.


Well-known causes of blood-tinged epiphora are conjunctival lesions, tumors of the lacrimal apparatus, and systemic bleeding disorders. We describe an unusual patient who presented with recurrent episodes of bloody tearing which began following an erythema multiforme-like drug eruption. He experienced chronic conjunctivitis which resulted in a few minor symblephara. One year later, the patient developed attacks of bloody tearing. All clinical, radiologic, and laboratory investigations related to bloody epiphora were within normal limits except for a mild, nonspecific chronic inflammatory reaction in the perivascular tissues of the lacrimal gland and orbital soft tissues. Also, an increase in vascular permeability and contrast extravasation on carotid angiography was detected. High-dose vitamin C was administered. The patient continued to have unilateral bloody tears intermittently for two years, but the episodes became much less frequent and had resolved by three years. It is conceivable that increased vascular permeability following the systemic inflammatory process could have played a role in the etiology of recurrent bloody tears in this atypical patient.


bloody tears; drug eruption; erythema multiforme; vitamin C

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