Encyclopedia of Ophthalmology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Thomas Kohnen

Superior Limbic Keratoconjunctivitis

  • Lojain M. AlBat’hi
  • Majed Alkharashi
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-35951-4_919-1



SLK is a chronic noninfectious inflammatory disorder characterized by inflammation of the upper tarsal and bulbar conjunctiva. It was described by Frederick Theodore in 1963 as inflammation of tarsal and bulbar conjunctiva, punctate staining of the cornea and its adjacent conjunctiva, limbic proliferation, and presence of filaments limited to the superior limbus or upper fourth of the cornea.


Superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis typically affects women with a female-to-male ratio of 3:1, usually affecting ages 20–60 years with a mean age of 50. There are no reported familial cases but it did affect identical twins. SLK affects people of different ethnic backgrounds and geographical distributions and not related to specific climates.


The etiology of SLK is still to be determined as many studies were conducted and the causes are still unknown. Theories suspected a viral etiology but never have...

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Further Reading

  1. Gris O, Plazas A, Lerma E, Guell J, Pelegrin L, Elies D (2010) Conjunctival resection with and without amniotic membrane graft for the treatment of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis. Cornea 29:1025–1030CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Gupta A, Morini C, Sachdeva V, Kekunnaya R (2012) Superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis causing chronic ocular irritation in a child. J AAPOS 16:579–581CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Krachmer JH, Mannis MJ, Holland EJ (2011) Cornea, vol 1, 3rd edn. Mosby Elsevier, London, pp 623–627Google Scholar
  4. Sahin A, Bozkurt B, Irkec M (2008) Topical cyclosporine a in the treatment of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis. Cornea 27:193–195CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Sheu MC, Schoenfield L, Jeng BH (2007) Development of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis after upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery. Cornea 26:490–492CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Udell IJ, Guidera AC, Madani-Becker J (2002) Ketotifen fumarate treatment of superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis. Cornea 21:778–780CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia