Ocular Injury by Mustard Gas; Early and Late Complications

  • Nasser ShoeibiEmail author
  • Mojtaba Abrishami
  • Alireza Eslampoor


Sulfur mustard (SM) is an oily liquid. It rapidly reacts with ocular tissues. Eyes are the most sensitive organs to SM. In acute phase, it results in conjunctivitis, corneal swelling and edema. Gradual spontaneous recovery usually occurs within few days of severe pain and blepharospasm, with regeneration of the corneal epithelium appearing within 5–7 days. In late stages, severe dry eye, limbal stem cell deficiency, corneal vascularization and corneal ulcers and probably retinochoroidal changes may complicate the course of disease several years after exposure. Copious irrigation, topical steroids, artificial tears, cycloplegics and corneal protection are the mainstay of treatment in acute phase. Late complications occur in a small percent of those initially severely wounded. In chronic phase, current approaches are chiefly conservative and symptomatic by nature: wearing contact lenses to improve visual acuity, managing tearing problems as well as ocular surface instability via administering artificial tears, occluding the puncta on a temporary basis, tarsorrhaphy and blepharorrhapy. Inflammation can be partially reduced using topical as well as systemic steroids. More drastic action, i.e., corneal transplantation, is needed in cases of scar formation, abnormal deposition, vascularization loss of eye sight and severe stromal thinning eventually leading to loss of global integrity.


Sulfur mustard Mustard gas Eye Cornea Ocular surface Retina 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nasser Shoeibi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mojtaba Abrishami
    • 2
  • Alireza Eslampoor
    • 1
  1. 1.Eye Research CenterMashhad University of Medical SciencesMashhadIran
  2. 2.Eye Research CenterFarabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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