Brimonidine-induced unilateral ocular lichen planus: a case report

ABSTRACT This report was written to describe a case of unilateral brimonidine-induced conjunctival lichen planus. Because the ophthalmic examination indicated chronic conjunctivitis or drug-induced pseudopemphigoid, the patient underwent thorough ophthalmic and systemic examinations, as well as conjunctival biopsy and direct immunofluorescence studies. A 71-year-old woman with unilateral left eye findings of chronic conjunctivitis was referred to our Ophthalmology Department. The patient reported that chronic conjunctivitis began shortly after she initiated use of topical brimonidine. Ophthalmic examination revealed foreshortening of the inferior fornix and symblepharon. Conjunctival biopsy revealed submucous lymphocytes and shaggy distribution of fibrinogen on direct immunofluorescence; this was suggestive of ocular lichen planus. No other systemic lesions were found that were consistent with the presentation of lichen planus. A good response was observed to topical cyclosporine treatment. To our knowledge, this may be the first report of unilateral ocular lichen planus without systemic findings. The correlation with the initiation of topical brimonidine suggests that this might be the first case of biopsy-confirmed brimonidine-induced ocular lichen planus.