Treatment of persistent epithelial defects with single-dose autologous serum eye drops

Eur J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul;32(4):2159-2165. doi: 10.1177/11206721211048372. Epub 2021 Sep 29.


Purpose: We aimed to investigate the efficacy and safety of single-dose autologous serum eye drops (ASEDs) for treatment of persistent corneal epithelial defects (PEDs).

Methods: About 34 eyes of 26 patients treated from March 2016 to May 2020 with a single dose of ASEDs for PEDs that did not respond to conventional treatment were retrospectively evaluated. Patient demographics, predisposing factors, size, and duration of the PED, duration of treatment, and dosage of ASEDs, PED healing time, success rate of the ASED treatment, and follow-up time after the onset of ASED treatment were recorded. Autologous serum eye drops (20%) were prepared by diluting the serum with preservative-free artificial tears in single-dose vials. Vials were stored at -20°C and used daily after dissolving.

Results: The mean patient age was 47.0 ± 18.5 years, and 13 (50%) of the patients were male. The most common indication for ASEDs was PED after keratoplasty. The mean duration of ASED treatment was 8.5 ± 6.3 months, and mean follow-up time was 22.8 ± 12.2 months. Autologous serum eye drop treatment was effective in 25 (73.5%) eyes and partially effective in 5 (14.7%) eyes. None of the eyes displayed complications related to the treatment.

Conclusion: In patients with PED for whom conservative treatment is insufficient, ASEDs prepared by dilution with preservative-free artificial tears in single-dose vials and administered based on the daily use principle appear to be effective and safe.

Keywords: Autologous serum eye drops; keratoplasty; persistent epithelial defects; preservative-free artificial tears.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Epithelium, Corneal*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lubricant Eye Drops
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Serum
  • Tears
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Lubricant Eye Drops
  • Ophthalmic Solutions