Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Cornea: sequestration

Synonym(s): Corneal sequestrum, corneal mummification, cornea nigrum, corneal necrosis, corneal black spot

Contributor(s): Dennis E Brooks, James Oliver, David Williams


  • A fairly common corneal disorder in cats.
  • Cause: may occur as a primary disease in some breeds, eg Persian. Can also occur secondary to chronic corneal irritation.
  • Signs: typical presenting sign is a brown-black corneal plaque which represents an area of necrosis.
  • The coloration may be a result of the presence of melanin which may be derived from the tear film.
  • Diagnosis: history, clinical signs, microbiology, Schirmer tear test.
  • Treatment: surgery is advised in most cases: keratectomy +/- grafting along with treatment of any identified underlying cause.
  • Prognosis: fair-good although recurrence may be a problem.
  • Conjunctival pedicle grafts may reduce incidence of recurrence.


Predisposing factors



  • The pathogenesis of feline corneal sequestra does not appear to be linked primarily to abnormal goblet cell numbers, qualitative tear film abnormalities, and accelerated tear film break-up time (Grahn and others, 2005).


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Goulle F (2012) Use of porcine small intestinal submucosa for corneal reconstruction in dogs and cats: 106 cases. JSAP 53 (1), 34-43 PubMed
  • Gould D (2011) Feline herpesvirus-1: ocular manifestations, diagnosis and treatment options. J Feline Med Surg 13 (5), 333-346 PubMed.
  • Barachetti L, Giudice C, Mortellaro C M (2010) Amniotic membrane transplantation for the treatment of feline corneal sequestrum: pilot study. Vet Ophthalmol 13 (5), 326-330 PubMed.
  • Hartley C (2010) Aetiology of corneal ulcers: assume FHV-1 unless proven otherwise. J Feline Med Surg 12 (1), 24-35 PubMed.
  • Hartley C (2010) Treatment of corneal ulcers:what are the medical options? J Feline Med Surg 12 (5), 384-397 PubMed.
  • Hartley C (2010) Treatment of corneal ulcers: when is surgery indicated? J Feline Med Surg 12 (5), 398-405 PubMed.
  • Townsend W M, Rankin A J, Stiles J et al (2008) Heterologous penetrating keratoplasty for treatment of a corneal sequestrum in a cat. Vet Ophthalmol 11 (4), 273-278 PubMed.
  • Cullen C L, Wadowska D W, Singh A et al (2005) Ultrastructural findings in feline corneal sequestra. Vet Ophthalmol (5), 295-303 PubMed.
  • Grahn B H, Sisler S, Storey E (2005) Qualitative tear film and conjunctival goblet cell assessment of cats with corneal sequestra. Vet Ophthalmol (3), 167-170 PubMed
  • Featherstone H J, Franklin V J & Sansom J (2004) Feline corneal sequestrum: laboratory analysis of ocular samples from 12 catsVet Ophthalmol (4), 229-238 PubMed.
  • Featherstone H J & Sansom J (2004) Feline corneal sequestra: a review of 64 cases (80 eyes) from 1993 to 2000Vet Ophthalmol (4), 213-227 PubMed.
  • Andrew S E, Tou S, Brooks D E (2001) Corneoconjunctival tranposition for the treatment of feline corneal sequestra: a retrospective study of 17 cases (1990-1998). Vet Ophthalmol (2), 107-111 PubMed.
  • Nasisse M P, Glover T L, Moore C P et al (1998) Detection of feline herpesvirus 1 DNA in corneas of cats with eosinophilic keratitis or corneal sequestration. Am J Vet Res 59 (7), 856-858 PubMed.
  • Stiles J, McDermott M, Bigsby D et al (1997) Use of nested polymerase chain reaction to identify feline herpesvirus in ocular tissue from clinically normal cats and cats with corneal sequestra or conjunctivitis. Am J Vet Res 58 (4), 338-342 PubMed.