Purpose: To compare the concentrations of epitheliotrophic factors in autologous serum eye drops (ASE) prepared from sera of chronic Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) patients with dry eyes to those prepared from non-autoimmune dry eye controls and to study the stability of the epitheliotrophic factors in different storage conditions.
Methods: Twenty-percent ASE were prepared from 10 chronic SJS patients with dry eyes and 10 age-matched non-autoimmune dry eye controls. The concentrations of major epitheliotrophic factors comprising epidermal growth factor (EGF), transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-β1), transforming growth factor-beta2 (TGF-β2), and fibronectin in those ASE preparations were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) at baseline and after different storage conditions: at 4 °C for 1 week and 1 month; and at -20 °C for 1, 3 and 6 months.
Results: There were no significant differences in the concentrations of EGF, TGF-β1, TGF-β2 and fibronectin in 20% ASE between the SJS and control groups (EGF: 176.9 ± 40.9 vs. 185.5 ± 36.9 pg/mL, TGF-β1: 9.5 ± 2.1 vs. 9.5 ± 1.9 ng/mL, TGF-β2: 55.3 ± 30.0 vs. 63.91 ± 45.6 pg/mL and fibronectin: 70.5 ± 20.2 vs. 62.2 ± 21.3 µg/mL, respectively). These factors were stable at 4 °C for up to 1 month. Storage at -20 °C for up to 6 months resulted in a slight decrease in TGF-β1 (SJS: from 9.5-8.4 ng/mL, p < 0.01 and control: from 9.5-8.1 ng/mL, p < 0.01).
Conclusions: The results suggested that the epitheliotrophic capacity of ASE from chronic SJS should be comparable to those from non-autoimmune dry eye patients, and that ASE should be sufficiently stable for up to 6 months, if stored properly at -20 °C.