Objective: To investigate the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the pathogenesis of ulcerative keratolysis associated with topical use of generic diclofenac preoperatively and postoperatively. To characterize the inflammatory response of the cornea in this case of ulcerative keratolysis. Design: Case report with clinicopathologic correlation. Main Outcome Measures: Corneal culture for microbial growth. Clinical and histopathologic examinations including routine histolopathologic, immunofluorescent, and immunohistochemical studies. Results: Microscopic examination of the corneal button disclosed fibrinous material with neutrophils and mononuclear inflammatory cells. The corneal epithelial basement membrane was irregularly thickened and patchy. Immunohistochemical staining detected weak staining of MMP-1 and a strong presence of MMP-8 in the epithelium. MMP-8 and 9 were also present in areas of leukocytic infiltration. MMP-2 appeared in a few stromal cells. Macrophages and leukocytes were the predominant infiltrating cells. Conclusions: A nonspecific inflammatory response occurred in this case of ulcerative keratolysis. Corneal epithelial cells are capable of secreting MMP-1 and 8 and may participate in the stromal degradation and repair process of the ulcerative keratolysis associated with topical nonsteroidol antiinflammatory use.
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