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Rynda Nitiahpapand, Shafi Balal, Johnathan Than, Corrado Gizzi, Jawaid Masood, Matthew Byrne, Anant Sharma; Finger-prick Autologous Blood (FAB) to treat Persistent Epithelial Defect. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):3879.
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Persistent epithelial defects (PED) of the cornea can severely reduce quality of life, and can be resistant to conventional therapies such as intense lubricants and contact lens. Autologous serum, which contains epitheliotrophic factors like tears, has been shown to aid healing of PEDs. However access to autologous serum has been restricted due to a number of reasons including licensing status and cost. Finger-prick of blood (FAB) has been shown to be effective in treatment of severe dry eyes. The similarities between AS and fresh autologous blood (FAB) led our group to investigate the effectiveness of using FAB in treating PEDs.
A prospective, non-comparative, interventional case series was conducted. 7 patients were recruited three NHS sites in the United Kingdom between April 2014 and June 2017. Patients were included if they had PED for at least 2 weeks with no size decrease or at least 4 weeks without complete resolution, despite conventional treatment. FAB was applied to the ocular surface four times a day, every day for four weeks in addition to their conventional therapies whilst we followed the progression of the PED.
7 patients met the criteria. Average age of 64.7 years old. Mean duration of PED before initiation of FAB was 9.3 months. 3 of the 7 patients (43%) experienced complete healing and another had more than a 50% reduction in the size of their PED by the end of the study. 3 patients failed to attend follow up visits.
In our limited case series FAB appears to be a safe and effective option for PEDs. Patients who remained compliant on treatment and returned for follow up demonstrated complete resolution or significant improvement in the short one month period of time. FAB provides the clinician with an additional and immediate treatment option which is cheap, practical and effective. A larger randomised study is needed to validate these findings.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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