Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide is a commonly used catalyst in various industries. We studied 19 eyes with a single exposure to methyl ethyl ketone peroxide that developed clinical patterns of mild injury, moderate injury, severe injury, or delayed keratitis. Delayed methyl ethyl ketone peroxide keratitis may cause exacerbations and remissions of corneal and limbal disease lasting more than 20 years with palpebral and bulbar hyperemia equal to the initial chemical exposure. With repeat exacerbation, further pannus may occur, which can be associated with a poorer outcome. Based on the capability of methyl ethyl ketone peroxide to change DNA to a new weak antigen, we suggest possible methods of therapy to prevent or limit delayed methyl ethyl ketone peroxide keratitis. This proposed type of injury has important implications in studying various limbal and corneal diseases. A major factor in the severity of ocular injury was the length of time from exposure to methyl ethyl ketone peroxide to obtaining a topical ocular local anesthetic to perform adequate lavage.
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