Mitomycin eye drops as treatment for pterygium

Ophthalmology. 1988 Jun;95(6):813-21. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(88)33104-0.


The authors used an antineoplastic-antibiotic agent, mitomycin, in the form of eye drops as adjunctive treatment for primary and recurrent pterygia after surgical excision. Sixteen primary and four recurrent pterygia were treated with 1.0 mg/ml mitomycin eye drops, 14 primary and 10 recurrent pterygia were treated with 0.4 mg/ml mitomycin eye drops, and 18 primary pterygia were treated with placebo eye drops. Postoperative follow-up for the eyes treated with mitomycin eye drops ranged from 3 to 34 weeks (mean, 23 weeks). One of 44 pterygia treated with mitomycin recurred after 5 months (recurrence rate, 2.3%), whereas 16 of 18 primary pterygia treated with placebo eye drops developed postoperative granulomas and recurrent pterygia with a mean postoperative period of 6 weeks (recurrence rate, 88.9%). Topical mitomycin (1.0 mg/ml) caused conjunctival irritation, excessive lacrimation, and mild superficial punctate keratitis. These topical side effects were minimized with the 0.4 mg/ml mitomycin dosage. No systemic toxicity was noted with either dosage. The authors believe that mitomycin eye drops is a safe and effective adjunct to surgical excision in the treatment of primary or recurrent pterygia, or both.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycins / adverse effects
  • Mitomycins / therapeutic use*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Postoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pterygium / drug therapy*
  • Recurrence


  • Mitomycins
  • Ophthalmic Solutions