Conjunctival proliferation after a mild pepper spray injury in a young child.
Cornea. 2011 Sep ;30(9):1042-4. PMID: 21642850
Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Bern, Inselspital, Bern, Switzerland.
PURPOSE: To report a case of conjunctival proliferation in a 2.5-year-old boy after initial evidence of a mild chemical injury after ocular exposure to pepper spray (oleoresin capsicum).
METHODS: Case report with ophthalmologic and histologic findings.
RESULTS: A child presented with mild conjunctival injection and chemosis without any corneal erosion after direct exposure to pepper spray. Three weeks later, a significant conjunctival proliferation was found at the limbus, which was refractory to treatment with topical corticosteroids. Finally, proliferative tissue was surgically excised without clinical recurrence during 2 months of follow-up.
CONCLUSIONS: We hypothesize that the young age of the patient may have been an important factor for the severe conjunctival proliferation in comparison to a mainly uncomplicated course of pepper spray injuries in most adults. We recommend the use of topical antiinflammatory treatment even in apparently mild pepper spray injuries, especially in young children.