Bilateral Corneal Perforation in a Patient Under Anti-PD1 Therapy

Anaïs Ramaekers, Sandrine Aspeslagh, Nele De Brucker, Camille Van Mierlo, Marcel Ten Tusscher, Pieter-Paul Schauwvlieghe, Karolien Termote

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


ABSTRACT: Immune checkpoint inhibition has improved the clinical outcomes for numerous patients with cancer. However, the downside is a whole new spectrum of immune-related adverse events. We report a 68-year-old man with a history of nonsmall cell lung cancer presenting with a spontaneous corneal perforation in the right eye after 22 cycles of pembrolizumab. In addition, a chronic central nonhealing epithelial defect developed after performing a penetrating keratoplasty. Treatment with autologous serum drops resulted in complete healing of the corneal ulcer, where other conventional therapies had no effect. One month after reinitiating pembrolizumab therapy, our patient presented again with a corneal perforation in the fellow eye. This case describes relapsing sterile ulcerations associated with pembrolizumab use and presents an unexpected cure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245-247
Number of pages3
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

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  • Bilateral Corneal Perforation
  • Anti-PD1 Therapy
  • cancer


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