NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – Eyedrops made from a person’s own serum are superior to artificial tear preparations for relieving signs and symptoms of severe dry eye disease, according to results of a study. This study indicates that so-called autologous serum “contains essential components” for maintaining eye surface health, Dr. Takashi Kojima, who led the study, said in an interview with Reuters Health. None of the commercially available artificial tear preparations contain growth factors, vitamin A and other natural components, which have been shown to play an important role in maintaining eye health. Dry eye disease is a condition in which the tears that normally bathe the eye fail to do their job, can cause damage to the cornea and vision problems. People who were contact lens are often suffer from this condition as do those who have undergone laser procedures to correct their vision. Women going through menopause also frequently develop dry eye syndrome. In their study, Dr. Kojima, of Keio University in Tokyo, Japan, and colleagues randomly assigned 20 patients with severe dry eye disease to receive only preservative-free artificial tears or only autologous serum eyedrops. Autologous serum was obtained by centrifuging 40 mL of blood from each patient. The serum was diluted to 20 percent with saline. After 2 weeks of treatment, autologous serum eyedrops proved superior to artificial eyedrops for improving ocular surface health and relieving eye pain. “Now we are (examining) the impact of each essential component in the autologous serum on ocular surface health,” Kojima said. The study appears in the February issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.
SOURCE: American Journal of Ophthalmology February 2005.