The efficacy of autologous serum eye drops for severe dry eye syndrome: a randomized double-blind crossover study

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2014 Apr;252(4):619-26. doi: 10.1007/s00417-014-2599-1. Epub 2014 Feb 25.


Background: To evaluate the efficacy of autologous serum (AS) eye drops for the symptomatic relief of severe dry eye syndrome (DES), as compared to conventional preservative-free artificial tears (PFAT).

Methods: This prospective double-blind randomized crossover study used the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), tear film break-up time (TBUT), Schirmer's Test, and OXFORD Scale at baseline and after each of two 1-month treatment periods to measure the effect of 20 % diluted AS eye drops vs. PFAT in 20 consecutive severe DES patients that were refractory to conventional treatment.

Results: The study included 20 (18 female and two male) severe DES patients (40 eyes). Significantly higher TBUT (P < 0.001, Wilcoxon signed-rank test) and a greater decrease in OSDI score (55.18 % decrease in the AS treatment group vs. 19.50 % decrease in the PFAT treatment group) (P < 0.001, Student's paired samples t-test) were observed in the AS treatment group after 1 month of treatment. There wasn't a significant difference in Schirmer's test and OXFORD conjunctival and corneal vital dying grading scores between the two treatment groups after 1 month of treatment (P > 0.05 [Mann-Whitney U test]).

Conclusions: AS eye drops were more effective than conventional eye drops for improving tear film stability and subjective comfort in patients with severe DES.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Cornea / physiopathology
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Dry Eye Syndromes / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein / metabolism
  • Fluorophotometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / administration & dosage
  • Prospective Studies
  • Serum / physiology*
  • Tears / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical
  • Fluorescein