Purpose: We report a case of a symptomatic, inflamed pterygium treated nonsurgically with topical dipyridamole and followed for 12 months.
Case report: A 35-year-old woman presented with a stage II to III, V3, C3, K2, P1 (using Johnston, Williams & Sheppard's classification) pterygium in her right eye. She complained of a foreign body sensation, dryness, burning, and persistent uncontrolled blinking. A raised lesion was observed on the nasal conjunctiva that was 1.5 mm in size. It extended slightly onto the nasal cornea. There was moderate vascularity of the lesion that obscured the underlying scleral vessels. Moderate conjunctival hyperemia was detected at and medial to the pterygium. The cornea, anterior chamber, and external anatomy were otherwise unremarkable. The eye was initially treated twice daily with a topical application of dipyridamole in a normal saline solution, which was later reduced to once daily.
Results: There was a marked improvement in both the pterygium and the patient's symptoms. The tissue regressed from the limbal region of the cornea, had decreased in length from 1.5 to 1.0 mm, and decreased in height from approximately 1.0 to approximately 0.3 mm. Conjunctival hyperemia and vascularization resolved completely, and the underlying scleral vessels could once again be visualized. At 12 months, the pterygium was graded as stage 0 to I, V0, C2, K0, P0.
Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first case of successful management of a pterygium and associated symptoms using topical dipyridamole. Further investigation is required to clarify the potential role of dipyridamole in the treatment of pterygia and pingueculae.
Keywords: Dipyridamole; Pterygia; Pterygium; Surfer's eye.