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A study of refractory cases of persistent epithelial defects associated with dry eye syndrome and recurrent corneal erosions successfully treated with cyclosporine A 0.05% eye drops

Authors Napoli PE, Braghiroli M, Iovino C, Demarinis G, Fossarello M

Received 3 March 2019

Accepted for publication 22 May 2019

Published 19 June 2019 Volume 2019:13 Pages 2001—2008

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DDDT.S207453

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Sukesh Voruganti


Pietro Emanuele Napoli1,* Mirco Braghiroli,1,* Claudio Iovino,1 Giuseppe Demarinis,1 Maurizio Fossarello1,2

1Department of Surgical Sciences, Eye Clinic, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy; 2Clinica Oculistica, San Giovanni di Dio Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria di Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Effective and tolerable therapeutic strategies for patients with refractory persistent epithelial defects (PEDs) are limited and generally provide poor outcomes. This retrospective case review describes four refractory cases of PEDs associated with recurrent corneal erosions (RCEs) and dry eye disease (DED), which were successfully treated with cyclosporine eye drops.
Methods: Patients were treated with cyclosporine A 0.05% eye drops twice a day for at least 12 months. At enrolling time, each patient was asked to suspend topical steroids or other eye drops used for ocular surface abnormalities with the exception of lubricants and eye washing. A complete evaluation of ocular surface symptoms was performed including the McMonnies Dry Eye Questionnaire, Ocular Surface Disease Index, slit-lamp biomicroscopy, fluorescein break-up time, the fluorescein staining of the cornea and conjunctiva (according to the Oxford grading system), the Schirmer I test, and the meibomian secretion after digital pressure application on the lids. This set of exams was carried out at baseline and repeated at all follow-up assessments.
Results: All participants that did not benefit from previous therapies, including corticosteroids tapering schedule, showed an important improvement in the clinical picture after two months with topical cyclosporine medication. Moreover, after 12 months of continuous therapy, all patients showed a clinical improvement in DED signs and symptoms, related to the absence of new RCE episodes. The treatment was well tolerated, and no adverse effects were reported.
Conclusion: Although a small number of cases were available of our analysis, the treatment with cyclosporine eye drops represents a promising approach in the management of refractory PEDs with associated ocular comorbidities, since it may reduce the RCE episodes and improve the tear film stability, in absence of systemic or local side effects.

Keywords: dry eye disease, persistent epithelial defects, cyclosporine eye drops, recurrentcorneal erosion, corneal adhesion


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