Adult blindness secondary to vitamin A deficiency associated with an eating disorder

Antonio Augusto Velasco Cruz, Flávia A. Attié-Castro, Sandra L. Fernandes, Jussara Fialho F. Cortes, Paulo De Tarso P. Pierre-Filho, Eduardo Melani Rocha, Júlio Sérgio Marchini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined an adult patient who lost one eye due to severe keratomalacia secondary to self-induced vitamin A deficiency. Methods: This case report provides a clinical, ophthalmologic, and laboratory description in addition to a review of the medical literature. Results: A 33-y-old woman with a 17-y history of an eating disorder presented with bilateral conjunctival xerosis, an infected corneal ulcer in the right eye and a large descemetocele in the left eye. Laboratory and clinical findings were consistent with vitamin A deficiency. Despite a tectonic penetrating keratoplasty, her left eye perforated and had to be eviscerated. In parallel, vitamin A replacement improved her clinical status and the ocular findings in her right eye. Conclusions: The present report indicates that vitamin A deficiency secondary to eating disorders should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with severe dry eye and corneal ulceration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)630-633
Number of pages4
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Blindness
  • Eating disorder
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Xerophthalmia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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