Purpose: To compare the effect of autologous serum eye drops with different diluents in patients with dry eyes and persistent epithelial defects.
Methods: Patients of Sjögren's syndrome (Group I), non-Sjögren's syndrome (group II) with dry eye, and persistent epithelial defects (Group III) were included. The eyes of each group were randomly treated with one of the following autologous serum eye drops: 100% serum (AS(100)), 50% serum with normal saline (AS(50NS)); 50% serum with sodium hyaluronate (AS(50HA)); or 50% serum with ceftazidime (AS(50CEF)). The differences in dry eye symptoms, Schirmer test I, tear break-up time (TBUT), corneal staining, and speed in epithelial healing were studied.
Results: In Group I, AS(100) showed fewer symptoms than AS(50NS), AS(50HA) and AS(50CEF) (all p < 0.01). AS(100) showed significantly better effect than AS(50NS), AS(50HA) and AS(50CEF) in decreasing corneal staining at the time point of 12-week post-treatment (p = 0.041, p < 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). In Group II, AS(100) was more effective than AS(50CEF) in decreasing symptoms and decreasing corneal staining (all p < 0.05). There was no significant difference in symptom and corneal staining between AS(100) and AS(50NS). In Group III, AS(100) was the most effective in achieving quick epithelial closure.
Conclusion: In the eyes with Sjögren syndrome and persistent epithelial defects, AS(100) was the most effective in decreasing symptoms, corneal epitheliopathy and promoting fast closure of wound. In the eyes with non-Sjögren syndrome, AS(100) and AS(50NS) have similar effects in decreasing symptoms and corneal epitheliopathy.