Vitamin A deficiency was documented in two patients with chronic alcoholism who were seen initially with bacterial corneal ulcers. Both patients demonstrated keratotic changes of the conjunctiva, with the appearance of dry eyes despite normal tear volumes. Absence of goblet cells upon conjunctival biopsy supports the concept that deficiency of conjunctival mucus is important in the ocular pathology of vitamin A deficiency. In one case, treatment with vitamin A restored a normal clinical appearance. We were able to correlate this clinical improvement with a reversal of the histopathologic appearance of the conjunctiva, including the reappearance of conjunctival goblet cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas