Topical Tacrolimus in Thygeson Superficial Punctate Keratitis

Cornea. 2020 Jun;39(6):742-744. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002224.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of topical tacrolimus 0.02% eye drops in the treatment of patients with Thygeson superficial punctate keratitis.

Methods: Ten consecutive patients with Thygeson superficial punctate keratitis were included retrospectively. Seven patients were unresponsive to topical steroids and/or lubricants. Diagnosis was made based on the history and clinical findings. All patients were treated with topical tacrolimus 0.02% solution twice daily. Outcome measures included improvement in symptoms of tearing and photophobia, whereas improvement in signs included decrease in the number of the lesions, resolution of the lesions, flattening of the lesions, and decrease in stain of the lesions.

Results: There were 3 male and 7 female patients with an age range of 3 to 51 years (mean 17 years). All patients had bilateral ocular involvement. Duration of treatment ranged from 1 to 42 weeks (mean 10 weeks). All patients had subjective improvement in symptoms of tearing and photophobia and resolution of the superficial punctate keratitis. The response to treatment was noted 72 hours after initiation of therapy in all patients. Topical tacrolimus was well tolerated in all patients.

Conclusions: Topical tacrolimus 0.02% is safe and effective in reducing ocular surface inflammation in patients with Thygeson superficial punctate keratitis who are not responsive to conventional therapy. Tacrolimus is helpful as a steroid-sparing agent to avoid vision-threatening complications.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Keratitis / diagnosis
  • Keratitis / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / administration & dosage
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tacrolimus / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Tacrolimus