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Referral Patterns of Patients with Limbal Stem Cell Deficiency to a Specialized Tertiary Center in the United Kingdom

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Majlinda LakoORCiD, Professor Francisco FigueiredoORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


© 2021, The Author(s).Introduction: Limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) is a potentially blinding disease; hence, referral to a specialist service is becoming increasingly common. Our aim was to investigate the referral patterns and associated details. Methods: We conducted an audit of 100 consecutive patients with LSCD who were referred to our service from 2011 to 2018. Patient demographics, geographical location, cause of LSCD, coexisting ocular diseases, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and extent of LSCD were recorded. The following two subgroups were further analyzed: (1) burns and (2) other causes of LSCD. Results: Out of the 100 patients (138 eyes), 70% were male, with a mean age of 45 years (SD 19). LSCD was unilateral in 62% of the cases. The most common ocular comorbidity was glaucoma, in 21 patients (33 eyes). Burns were the most frequent cause of referral (61%). The mean BCVA of the involved eye was 1.22 (SD 0.8) LogMAR, and total LSCD was present in 75 eyes (54%). There were statistically significant age, gender and eye-involved differences between the burns group and other causes group, mean 39 (SD 17) and 53 (SD 19) years (p < 0.001); 85% were men versus 48.7%, (p = 0.001); and 82% were unilateral versus 31% (p < 0.001), respectively. Conclusions: LSCD was more common in men and usually unilateral. Overall, the main cause of LSCD was burns. There were significant differences between the burns group and other causes of LSCD group in terms of age, gender and unilateral involvement that may help to guide management decisions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cartes C, Lako M, Figueiredo FC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Ophthalmology and Therapy

Year: 2021

Volume: 10

Pages: 535-545

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 17/05/2021

Acceptance date: 27/04/2021

Date deposited: 02/06/2023

ISSN (print): 2193-8245

ISSN (electronic): 2193-6528

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s40123-021-00349-y


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