Pathophysiology of Keratoconus: What Do We Know Today

Uri Soiberman, James W. Foster, Albert S. Jun, Shukti Chakravarti*
Cornea Division, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, USA

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© 2017 Soiberman et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Departments of Medicine, Cell Biology and Ophthalmology Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Ross 935 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD, 21205, USA; Tel: 410-502-7627; Fax: 410-614-4834; E-mail:


Keratoconus is a common corneal ectasia that leads to progressive visual impairment. Numerous studies have shown abnormal protein expression patterns in keratoconic corneas. However, the specific mechanisms causing this disease remain ambiguous. This review aims to provide an update on morphological studies of the keratoconic cornea, relate these early studies with current findings from proteomic, biochemical and cell culture studies and to postulate possible pathogenic pathways.

Keywords: Keratoconus, Pathogenesis, Morphology, Proteomics, Cytokine, Oxidative stress, TGF-β, Keratocytes, Corneal epithelium.