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Osseous metaplasia in the conjunctiva of a horse presenting with recurrent ulcerative keratitis




A 13-year-old Thoroughbred gelding presented with a 6 month history of recurrent conjunctivitis, dacryocystitis and corneal ulceration affecting the left eye (OS). Treatment had included multiple topical antibiotic and anti-inflammatory preparations, nasolacrimal system flushing and an injection of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) (Depomedrone)1 administered subconjunctivally into the left lower eyelid. No mechanical cause for the ulcerative keratitis could be visualised but digital palpation revealed a firm linear structure in the central palpebral conjunctiva of the lower eyelid. An excisional biopsy was performed and histopathological examination revealed the lesion to be a region of osseous metaplasia. Following excision of the lesion, the corneal ulcer resolved and the eye remained disease free over a 4 year follow-up period. A causal link between the osseous metaplasia and the recurrent ulcerative keratitis was therefore suspected. This report describes the management of this case and discusses the pathogenesis of osseous metaplasia and the use of subconjunctival corticosteroids.