Eye lesions caused by cyanoacrylates
J. M. Rohrbach, T.-M. Wohlrab*, T. Schlote
Background: Cyanoacrylates are components of instant glues (superglues), tissue adhesives (e.g. Histoacrylâ ), and nail glues. Inadvertently, they can be brought into the conjunctival sac. Therapy of these rare situations is still discussed controversially.
Patients: We observed 4 patients with an alteration of the ocular surface due to cyanoacrylate glue. Two patients were male, and two were female. Age ranged between 12 and 47 years. The injury was caused by superglue in 3 patients, and by tissue adhesive Histoacrylâ in a neuroradiologist.
All patients felt an acute severe burning after cyanoacrylate exposure. Visual acuity was moderately or considerably diminished. Therapy included careful rinsing, mechanical manipulations were avoided as far as possible. All patients showed spontaneous rejection of the glue within 24 hours after the injury. The resulting toxic conjunctivitis and the corneal erosion healed within a few days, and visual acuity returned to normal.
Conclusions: Burn of the eye surface by cyanoacrylates is mild in almost all cases. Therefore, the often dramatic, acute aspect contrasts with the course which is usually uneventful. We recommend to await the spontaneous rejection of the glue. Vigorous mechanical removal or treatment with solvents dont seem to be useful and may be even harmful.
Eye Clinic, Dep.I, Eberhard Karls University, Schleichstr. 12, D-72076 Tübingen
* Eye Clinic, Vogtland-Klinikum Plauen GmbH, Weisestr.8, D-08523 Plauen/Vogtl.