PHOENIX – A researcher reported here at Academy 2012 that platelet-rich plasma is a viable option for dry eye patients who have found other treatments to be unsuccessful.
Edward S. Jarka, OD, MS, of the University of Missouri-St. Louis School of Optometry, reported in a poster that platelet-rich plasma (PRP) may have a significant place in the treatment of severe and mild dry eye.
“People have used autologous serum, but there have been difficulties with the concentration of growth factors that can be used from preparation to preparation,” Jarka said at an academy-sponsored press conference. “With platelet-rich plasma, we don’t have that problem because all of the platelets contain the growth factors, so they are released upon the application of the increased concentration of platelets to the ocular surface. The response is more predictable from patient to patient and also allows the practitioner the potential for using this type of therapy in a more controlled fashion vs. using something six to 10 times per day [autologous serum].
“Both products need to be refrigerated or frozen,” he added.
Jarka presented two case reports where the patients were successfully treated with PRP. One was a 74-year-old woman with a 3-year history of severe dry eye that affected her quality of life, even preventing her from gardening. She used tears, gels, ointments, steroids, azithromycin, cyclosporine and omega-3s, Jarka reported at the press conference.
After 3 weeks of 30% PRP concentrate twice a day, and after discontinuing all other medications, she noted some improvement. After 8 weeks she was able to return to contact lens wear and her outdoor activities. She has remained free of discomfort 2 years after discontinuing the PRP, he said.
Jarka hypothesized that the multiple growth factors in PRP result in an improvement in the biotensegrity of the ocular surface, resulting in a long-term reduction in the chronic inflammation.