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Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2011 Apr;34(2):56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2010.11.007. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

Pellucid corneal marginal degeneration: A review.

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  • 1The University of Manchester, England, UK.


Pellucid marginal corneal degeneration (PMD) is a rare ectatic disorder which typically affects the inferior peripheral cornea in a crescentic fashion. The condition is most commonly found in males and usually appears between the 2nd and 5th decades of life affecting all ethnicities. The prevalence and aetiology of this disorder remain unknown. Ocular signs and symptoms of patients with PMD differ depending on the severity of the condition. Unless corneal topography is evaluated, early forms of PMD may often be undetected however, in the later stages PMD can often be misdiagnosed as keratoconus. Visual signs and symptoms include longstanding reduced visual acuity or increasing against-the-rule irregular astigmatism leading to a slow reduction in visual acuity. In rare cases, patients may present with a sudden loss of vision and excruciating ocular pain due to corneal hydrops or spontaneous perforation. The vast majority of PMD patients are managed using spectacles and contact lenses. Several surgical procedures have been used in an attempt to improve visual acuity when spectacles and contact lenses do not provide adequate vision correction. Since patients with PMD make poor candidates for laser vision correction, an awareness of the topographical and slit-lamp features of PMD will be useful to clinicians screening for signs of corneal abnormality before corneal refractive surgery. This review describes the clinical features of PMD, its differential diagnosis and various management strategies presently available.

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