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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 2067-2074

Relevance of IgE, allergy and eye rubbing in the pathogenesis and management of Keratoconus

1 Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Narayana Nethralaya, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Paediatrics, Allergy and Immunology, Manipal Hospital, Bangalore, Karnataka, India
3 GROW Research Laboratory, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sharon D'Souza
Department of Ocular Surface and Refractive, Narayana Nethralaya, 121/c, Chord Road, Rajajinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1191_19

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Keratoconus (KC) is an ectatic disease of the cornea characterized by localized thinning and protrusion causing irregular astigmatism, which can lead to significant visual impairment. KC has often been associated with allergy and/or atopy, which are immune-mediated inflammatory reactions primarily driven by IgE. A higher proportion of KC patients were reported to have history or suffer from systemic and/or ocular allergy with elevated allergen-specific IgE and/or total serum IgE. Eye rubbing, one of the risk factors for worsening of the disease and developing related complications in KC, is associated with IgE driven conditions. The current review enumerates and contextualizes the evidence related to IgE in mediating KC pathogenesis, including aberrant extra-cellular matrix remodeling. This review also discusses clinical strategies directed at modulating IgE-mediated responses in the management of KC, and the emerging academic and plausible clinical relevance of assessing serum and tear IgE (allergen-specific and total) status in improving the understanding of disease pathobiology, treatment planning, and prognosis.

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