A Case of Autism Spectrum Disorder with Perforated Keratomalacia due to Vitamin A Deficiency

Daisuke Nakata, Sayaka Kakehi, Hiroshi Okada, Koji Hirano, Masayuki Horiguchi, Yasuki Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a case of a patient with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and perforated keratomalacia secondary to vitamin A deficiency. A 6-year-old boy complained of difficulty in opening the eyelids. The ocular conjunctiva was hyperemic and keratinized with purulent ocular (eye) discharge. Both corneas showed epithelial defects with hypopyon. The serum vitamin A level was ≤5 IU/dL (normal 97-316), leading to a diagnosis of xerophthalmia and keratomalacia due to vitamin A deficiency. Intramuscular injection of vitamin A (50,000 IU/day), as well as oral administration of multivitamin (containing 2,500 IU of vitamin A) and zinc supplement at 50 mg/day, allowed him to open both eyes and show interest in tablet devices 14 days after the diagnosis. During the course of the treatment, corneal perforation was observed, but it was closed without contact lens wear or amniotic patch and managed with vitamin A replacement therapy and antimicrobial eye drops. The epithelium extended to the area of the right cornea that had been melted, and although scarring corneal opacity remained, there were no obvious signs of infection. Early diagnosis is difficult because children with ASD do not express complaints, and vitamin A deficiency should be considered in patients with a severely unbalanced diet and complaints of difficulty opening the eyelids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalCase Reports in Ophthalmology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 07-07-2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology


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