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M. Coassin, A. Lambiase, N. Costa, A. De Gregorio, R. Sgrulletta, S. Bonini; Efficacy of Topical Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) Treatment in Dogs Affected by Dry Eye . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2519.
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Purpose: preliminary data suggest that Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) may improve tear production in humans. We evaluated the efficacy of topical NGF in dogs with severe dry eye. Methods: three English Bulldogs (1M and 2F; age 2-6 years), who had undergone removal of the third eyelid in both eyes at the age of 6 months to prevent its prolapse, developed severe dry eye since at least one year. One eye, randomly selected, of each dog was treated twice daily with 100 µl of NGF ointment for 1 month, while the fellow eye was used as control and treated with the ointment vehicle only. At baseline and after 1 month of NGF treatment the following examinations were performed: corneal evaluation by slit lamp, Schirmer test, tear ferning test, corneal aesthesiometry by cotton swab and conjunctival impression cytology. Results: topical application of NGF induced a significant improvement of all the evaluated parameters compared to the values measured before treatment. On the contrary, there was no significant difference between baseline values and the findings in control eyes. In particular, after NGF treatment all corneal leukomas improved from stage 4 to stage 2, Schirmer tear test showed a significant increase of tear production (17.2±1.7 vs. 4.5±1.3 mm/min.; p<0.05) associated with an increase of tear mucous component as demonstrated by mucous ferning test (2.0±0.0 vs 4.0±0.0; p<0.05); conjunctival impression cytology demonstrated the presence of numerous mucous filaments and a significant increase of conjunctival goblet cell density (102.7± 68.3 vs. 18.2±14.3 cell x field; p<0.05). Moreover, topical NGF treatment induced improvement of corneal sensitivity in 2 eyes. Conclusions: this open study suggest that topical application of NGF may enhance corneal transparency and tear film production and quality in dogs with dry eye.
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