Purpose: To evaluate the therapeutic effect of umbilical cord serum in the treatment of persistent epithelial defect of the cornea.
Methods: Fourteen eyes of 14 patients with persistent epithelial defect that had persisted for at least 2 weeks despite conventional treatment were treated with 20% umbilical cord serum eyedrops six times a day. The images of the epithelial defects were captured using a camera attached to a slit lamp biomicroscope and the areas of the epithelial defects were calculated. Treatment was considered effective for epithelial defect healing within 2 weeks, partially effective for healing within 2 to 4 weeks, and ineffective for healing requiring either more than 1 month or additional measures.
Results: Mean duration of epithelial defect before treatment was 7.2 +/- 6.3 weeks, and mean area was 7.86 +/- 7.32 mm2. Umbilical cord serum therapy was effective in 6 eyes (42.9%), partially effective in 6 (42.9%), and ineffective in 2 (14.2%). Nevertheless, the epithelial defects in both the ineffective eyes were eventually healed within 8 weeks. Mean healing time in effective or partially effective cases was 2.75 +/- 1.06 weeks.
Conclusions: The use of umbilical cord serum eyedrops for the treatment of persistent epithelial defect is effective.