Corneal Toxicity due to Datura Inoxia


Purpose: To report corneal toxicity following intentional inoculation of the juice of crushed leaves of datura (Datura Inoxia).

Case Report: A 70-year-old male presented with diminished vision, redness, watering, and photophobia in his right eye one day before his presentation. The patient had instilled the juice of datura leaves in his right eye to treat his ocular problems. Slit lamp examination revealed mild conjunctival and circumcorneal congestion, corneal edema, and folds in Descemet’s membrane. The left eye was pseudophakic with an otherwise unremarkable examination. The patient was treated with dexamethasone, cycloplegics, and lubricants. The cornea did not sufficiently recover after one month of treatment leaving him with permanent corneal decompensation that required a referral for keratoplasty. The patient was followed up for six months. We hypothesize damage to the corneal endothelial Na+/K+-ATPase pump by tropane alkaloids as a cause for corneal decompensation.

Conclusion: Awareness about toxicity of this commonly grown plant in the tropics and subtropics is essential in order to avoid blindness due to accidental or deliberate use.


Datura; Datura Inoxia; Toxic Keratitis

1. Djibo A, Bouzou SB. Acute intoxication with “sobilobi”(Datura). Four cases in Niger. Bulletin de la Societe
de pathologie exotique (1990) 2000;93:294–297.

2. Roemer HC, von Both H, Foellmann W, Golka K. Angel’s trumpet and the eye. J R Soc Med 2000;93:319.

3. Kintz P, Villain M, Bargul Y, Charlot JY, Cirimele V. Testing for atropine and scopolamine in hair by LC-MS-MS after Datura Inoxia abuse. J Anal Toxicol 2006 1;30:454–457.

4. Eraslan M. Anisocoria due to the datura plant. Marmara Med J 2012;25:93–95.

5. Firestone D, Sloane C. Not your everyday anisocoria: angel’s trumpet ocular toxicity. J Emerg Med 2007;33:21–

6. Andreola B, Piovan A, Da Dalt L, Filippini R, Cappelletti E. Unilateral mydriasis due to Angel’s trumpet. Clin Toxicol (Phila) 2008;46:329–331.

7. Havelius U, Asman P. Accidental mydriasis from exposure to Angel’s trumpet (Datura suaveolens). Acta Ophthalmol Scand 2002;80:332–335.

8. Hatou S, Yamada M, Mochizuki H, Shiraishi A, Joko T, Nishida T. The effects of dexamethasone on the Na, KATPase activity and pump function of corneal endothelial cells. Curr Eye Res 2009;34:347–354.

9. Basak SK, Bhaumik A, Mohanta A, Singhal P. Ocular toxicity by latex of Calotropis procera (Sodom apple).
Indian J Ophthalmol 2009;57:232–234.

10. Bonanno JA. Molecular mechanisms underlying the corneal endothelial pump. Exp Eye Res 2012;95:2–7.