Treatment of persistent corneal epithelial defect by autologous serum application

Ophthalmology. 1999 Oct;106(10):1984-9. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90412-8.


Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of autologous serum application for the treatment of persistent epithelial defect.

Design: Prospective, clinical, noncomparative case series.

Participants: A total of 16 eyes were studied.

Intervention: Autologous serum was prepared from the patients and diluted to 20% by saline. The patients were instructed to use the autologous serum six to ten times a day. The concentration of vitamin A, epidermal growth factor (EGF), and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was measured at 1 week and 1 month stored in the refrigerator and 1 month and 3 months in the freezer.

Main outcome measures: Time to closure of epithelial defect.

Results: Vitamin A, EGF, and TGF-beta were stable during the 1 month in the refrigerator and 3 months in the freezer. Among 16 persistent epithelial defects, 7 (43.8%) healed within 2 weeks, 3 (18.8%) healed within 1 month, and the remaining 6 (37.5%) did not respond within 1 month. No apparent side effect of autologous serum application was observed.

Conclusions: Autologous serum application healed 43.8% of persistent defect within 2 weeks and 62.5% within 1 month.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Blood*
  • Cell Movement
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology
  • Corneal Diseases / therapy*
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / complications
  • Epidermal Growth Factor / blood
  • Epithelium, Corneal / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / blood
  • Vitamin A / blood
  • Wound Healing


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vitamin A
  • Epidermal Growth Factor