Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the outcomes of 50% autologous serum (AS) eye drops after long-term use in a large cohort of patients with dry eyes.
Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted on all patients treated with 50% AS eye drops at our institution between June 2008 and January 2013. Records were reviewed for clinical history, systemic risk factors, dry eye etiology, patients' symptoms, and adverse events. Ocular surface evaluation included Schirmer testing with topical anesthesia, fluorescein staining, and ocular surface disease index. Data were reviewed at initial visit, 1 month, and every 3 to 6 months during treatment with AS. Paired t tests were performed to compare the progression of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease.
Results: A total of 123 eyes of 63 patients were evaluated with a mean follow-up of 12 months (range, 3-48 months). Corneal fluorescein staining (mean baseline, 1.77 ± 1.1) improved at the 3- to <6-month, 6- to <12-month, and final follow-up (mean: 1.2 ± 1.0, 1.3 ± 1.0, and 1.1 ± 1.1; P = 0.003, 0.017, and 0.0003, respectively). Schirmer scores (mean baseline, 6.6 ± 6.5 mm) improved at the 12- to 24-month follow-up (mean = 10.7 ± 11.4, P = 0.03), whereas ocular surface disease index scores (mean baseline, 54.1 ± 22.3) improved at the 3- to <6- and 6- to <12-month follow-up (mean: 49.5 ± 8.2 and 39.3 ± 21.4, P = 0.029 and 0.003, respectively). No complications were noted.
Conclusions: Fifty percent AS eye drops seem to be a safe and effective long-term treatment for dry eye disease, especially in patients with severe disease who have exhausted all other conventional forms of treatment.