Background/aims: Loss of corneal sensation results in the development of persistent corneal epithelial defects. The combination of a substance P-derived peptide (FGLM-amide) and an insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-derived peptide (SSSR) stimulates rabbit corneal epithelial migration in vitro and rabbit corneal epithelial wound closure in vivo. The clinical efficacy of eye-drops containing FGLM-amide and SSSR for the treatment of persistent corneal epithelial defects in individuals with neurotrophic keratopathy was examined in a prospective open study.
Methods: Twenty-five consecutive patients (26 eyes) with persistent corneal epithelial defects associated with neurotrophic keratopathy were treated by administration of eye-drops containing FGLM-amide and SSSR. The course of epithelial healing was monitored by slit-lamp examination.
Results: Epithelial defects resurfaced completely in 19 of the 26 eyes (73%) within 4 weeks after treatment initiation. Complete resurfacing of epithelial defects was apparent in 18 of 22 (82%) or in one of four (25%) eyes without or with limbal stem cell deficiency, respectively. No adverse effects of treatment were observed in any subject.
Conclusion: Eye-drops containing FGLM-amide and SSSR induced the rapid resurfacing of persistent epithelial defects in stem cell-positive individuals with neurotrophic keratopathy.
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