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DL Meadows, JL Ubels, MD Aupperlee; Efficacy of Artificial Tears for Protection of the Corneal Epithelium from Desiccation . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3127.
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Purpose: Desiccation of the ocular surface in dry environments is a component of the factors causing discomfort in dry eye patients. An in vivo desiccation model (Nakamura et al., Exp Eye Res 65:569, 1997) was used to test the efficacy of artificial tear products for prevention of ocular surface damage during extended desiccating exposure. Methods: One drop of artificial tear or lens rewetting solution was placed on the eye of an anesthetized rabbit and the eye was held open with a speculum for 2 hr. Desiccated eyes were held open for 2 hr without application of a tear solution. Eyes were stained with 1% methylene blue in BSS for 5 min. Naïve control eyes were stained with methylene blue without prior desiccation. Eyes were rinsed with BSS, percentage stained corneal area was scored and an 8 mm disc of central cornea was extracted in acetone:saturated sodium sulfate (7:3). Absorbance of extracts was measured at 660nm (A660). Extract data were analyzed by ANOVA comparing each tear product to desiccated eyes and naïve controls. Results: Extract analysis showed that 5 of 6 tear products* offered complete protection from desiccation (not different from naïve control), while one** offered partial protection (uptake different from desiccated and naïve control). The lens rewetting solution*** did not protect the cornea (uptake not different from desiccated). Differences in the percentage of corneal area stained were evident among the tear products and correlated with the extract data. Conclusion: This in vivo model is useful for evaluating artificial tear solutions for their ability to protect the corneal epithelium from damage during prolonged desiccating exposure. This method can be used for preclinical evaluation of new tear formulas and may be useful for prediction of product efficacy in clinical use. A660 of extracts and percent staining of corneas stained with methylene blue (n=5) View OriginalDownload SlideView OriginalDownload Slide
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