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Persistent corneal epithelial defect responding to rebamipide ophthalmic solution in a patient with diabetes

Authors Hayashi Y, Toshida H, Matsuzaki Y, Matsui A, Ohta T

Received 29 December 2015

Accepted for publication 1 March 2016

Published 10 May 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 113—116


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Lucy Goodman

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Yusuke Hayashi, Hiroshi Toshida, Yusuke Matsuzaki, Asaki Matsui, Toshihiko Ohta

Department of Ophthalmology, Juntendo University Shizuoka Hospital, Izunokuni, Shizuoka, Japan

Objective: Rebamipide ophthalmic suspension was developed for the treatment of dry eyes and for other corneal diseases, promoting the secretion of both mucin in tear fluid and membrane-associated mucin, increasing the number of goblet cells, and restoring the barrier function of the corneal epithelium. We report a case of a persistent corneal epithelial defect in a patient with diabetes treated with topical application of rebamipide ophthalmic suspension.
Case presentation: A 73-year-old woman had a history of type 2 diabetes for 35 years and nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy for 23 years. She presented to our department with discharge and ophthalmalgia in the left eye. A corneal ulcer was detected, and culture of corneal scrapings was performed, with Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus canis being isolated. The infection was treated with levofloxacin eye drops and ofloxacin ophthalmic ointment based on the sensitivity profile of the isolate. However, a corneal epithelial defect persisted for approximately 2 months despite continuing treatment with 0.1% hyaluronic acid ophthalmic suspension and 0.3% ofloxacin eye ointment. Her hemoglobin A1c was 7.3%. The persistent corneal epithelial defect showed improvement at 2 weeks after treatment with rebamipide unit dose 2% ophthalmic suspension, and it did not recur even when vitrectomy was subsequently performed for vitreous hemorrhage due to progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Conclusion: This is the first report about efficacy of rebamipide unit dose 2% ophthalmic suspension for presenting persistent corneal epithelial defect in a patient with diabetes. In the present case, the suggested mechanisms are the following: improving the corneal barrier function, stabilization of mucin on the keratoconjunctival epithelium, and improving the wettability and stability of the tear film, which resulted in the promotion of healing of the corneal epithelial defect in a short time period.

Keywords: rebamipide, diabetic keratitis, corneal epithelium, wound healing

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