Amantadine-Associated Corneal Edema. Potentially Irreversible Even after Cessation of the Medication

Bennie H. Jeng, Anat Galor, Michael S. Lee, David M. Meisler, Joe G. Hollyfield, Lynn Schoenfield, James T. McMahon, Roger H.S. Langston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the clinical features of 3 patients with amantadine-associated corneal edema, including the histopathologic findings from 1 patient who underwent corneal transplantation for irreversible corneal edema. Design: Interventional case series. Participants: Three patients who sought treatment at the authors' institution with abrupt-onset, bilateral, diffuse corneal edema associated with systemic amantadine use. Methods: Retrospective chart review. Main Outcome Measures: Visual acuity, corneal thickness, slit-lamp observations, and histopathologic findings. Results: The duration of use of amantadine ranged from 2 months to 6 years before onset of corneal edema. Discontinuation of amantadine resulted in resolution of corneal edema in both eyes of 2 patients. A third patient underwent a full-thickness corneal transplantation, and subsequently, edema developed in the grafted cornea. Cessation of amantadine therapy in this patient resulted in resolution of corneal edema in both eyes, but the ungrafted corneal eventually decompensated and became edematous, requiring corneal transplantation. Histopathologic analysis of the cornea buttons showed significant loss of endothelial cells. Conclusions: Amantadine can cause corneal edema that begins a few months to several years after institution of therapy, and the edema can occur even in a corneal graft. Prolonged corneal edema in the setting of amantadine use can be irreversible. In cases of corneal edema without an obvious causative disease, the systemic medication list of the patient must be reviewed, and amantadine must be considered as a possible cause. Financial Disclosure(s): The authors have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1540-1544
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported in part by a Challenge Grant to the Department of Ophthalmology, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio, from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, New York; the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland (Multidisciplinary Clinical Research Training Award no.: 1KL2 RR024990 [BHJ]); and an unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., New York, New York (MSL).

Copyright 2010 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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