Patients combating severe dry eye may one day have a monthly option that improves several dry eye parameters, according to a new study.1 Past research shows topical application of autologous platelet-rich plasma (PRP) provides a rich concentration of growth factors, anti-inflammatory cytokines and other platelet derivatives that can be beneficial for ocular surface restoration in dry eye patient.2 But researchers in Colombia recently took such therapy one step further with monthly PRP injections.

The study consisted of 30 patients with Sjögren’s syndrome, 15 of whom received monthly injections of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) in conjunction with hyaluronic acid five times per day for three months. The 15 control patients only received hyaluronic acid five times daily.1

After evaluating corneal staining, Schirmer test, tear break-up time (TBUT) and Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) scores at baseline and 30, 60 and 90 days, the researchers found the investigational group had improvements in all parameters, including reduced corneal staining, increased mean Schirmer value from 5.6 ±0.7mm to 9.0 ±1.1mm, increased TBUT from 4.0 ±0.4s to 6.4 ±0.4s at day 90.1

“PRP injection is safe and effective in improving tear parameters as well as subjective parameters, and was found to be superior to hyaluronic acid alone in the management of patients with severe dry eye,” the study concludes. “This represent a novel alternative treatment for severe dry eye.”1

1. Avila MY, Igua AM, Mora AM. Randomized, prospective clinical trial of platelet-rich plasma injection in the management of severe dry eye. Br J Ophthalmol. July 3, 2018. [Epub ahead of print]. 
2. Alio JL, Rodriguez AE, Ferreira-Oliveira R, et al. Treatment of dry eye disease with autologous platelet-rich plasma: a prospective, interventional, non-randomized study. Ophthalmol Ther. 2017;6(2):285-293.