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Amniotic membrane transplantation as an adjunct to medical therapy in acute ocular burns


Aims To evaluate the role of amniotic membrane transplantation in patients with acute ocular burns.

Methods In a prospective, randomised, controlled clinical trial, 100 patients with grade II to IV acute ocular burns (Roper Hall Classification) were recruited. 50 patients with grade II–III burns were graded as moderate burns, and 50 patients with grade IV burns were graded as severe burns. Both groups were individually randomised into control group (n=25) and study group (n=25). The corresponding grade of ocular surface burn by Dua classification was noted. The eyes in the study group underwent amniotic membrane transplantation in addition to conventional medical therapy. In the control group, conventional medical therapy along with mechanical release of early adhesions as and when necessary was instituted. Rate of healing of corneal epithelial defect, visual acuity, extent of corneal vascularisation, corneal clarity and formation of symblepharon were compared in both groups.

Results In patients with moderate ocular burns treated with amniotic membrane transplantation, the rate of epithelial healing was significantly better than the group treated with standard medical therapy alone (p=0.0004). There was no overall difference in the final visual outcome, symblepharon formation, corneal clarity and vascularisation with or without amniotic membrane transplantation.

Conclusions Amniotic membrane transplantation in eyes with acute ocular burns promotes faster healing of epithelial defect in patients with moderate grade burns. There seems to be no definite long-term advantage of amniotic membrane transplantation over medical therapy and mechanical release of adhesions in terms of final visual outcome, appearance of symblepharon and corneal vascularisation when compared in a controlled clinical setting.

  • Ocular surface
  • conjunctiva
  • cornea
  • vision

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