Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of allogeneic serum in the treatment of persistent corneal epithelial defect (PED).
Methods: Thirty-six patients with PED whose autologous serum was unavailable or unsuitable for use were included in the study. Blood was obtained from the patients' family members who were healthy and had no history of hepatitis, bacteremia, or HIV. After standard serological testing used in blood transfusion, the allogeneic serum was prepared. The patients applied the serum eyedrops once every hour while awake and discontinued non-preservative artificial tears. If the epithelial defect was healing, the allogenic serum was gradually tapered. If the epithelial defect remained nearly the same size at day 14, amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT) was performed.
Results: Among the 36 patients, the epithelial defect healed in 6 patients (16.7%) within 1 week, in an additional 9 patients (25%) in 1-2 weeks, totaling 15 patients (41.7%) within 2 weeks. Twenty-one patients (58.3%) did not completely heal at the second week. Among these 21 patients, 10 (27.8%) underwent AMT and had subsequent healing of the epithelial defect, 8 completely healed within 1 month, and the remaining 3 healed within 2 months. None of the 36 patients reported any adverse events during therapy.
Conclusions: In patients for whom serum treatment is indicated but autologous serum is unavailable or unsuitable for use, allogeneic serum offers an alternative option for therapy.