Purpose: To evaluate the renewal of corneal nerve structure and function in patients with neurotrophic keratopathy (NK) treated with recombinant human nerve growth factor (rhNGF) eye drops. Design: Prospective, interventional, before-and-after case series. Methods: This study included 18 patients with NK with a persistent epithelial defect or corneal ulcer, treated with topical rhNGF, and age-matched healthy controls. Patients underwent clinical examination with corneal fluorescein staining, Schirmer 1 tear test, assessment of corneal sensitivity with the Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer, and morphologic examination of the nerves by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. IVCM analysis was used to assess corneal sub-basal nerve density, number of nerve branches, and the diameter of nerve fibers. Results: A complete resolution of the epithelial defect was observed in all patients within 8 weeks. Schirmer 1 test showed a significant improvement of tear film secretion. Change from baseline in corneal sensation was significant (P < .001) but did not approach that of healthy controls. After 8 weeks of treatment, there was a significant increase in the mean nerve density in affected eyes as compared to baseline (P = .007) as well as in the number of nerve branches (P = .008) and nerve fiber diameter (P = .007). Conclusions: Topical treatment with rhNGF was effective in promoting complete corneal healing of persistent epithelial defects and corneal ulcers in patients with NK. This was associated with an improvement of corneal sensitivity and an increase of sub-basal nerve density, diameter, and number of nerve branches, indicating improvement in structure and function of corneal nerves.

In vivo evaluation of corneal nerves and epithelial healing after treatment with recombinant nerve growth factor for neurotrophic keratopathy

Mastropasqua, Leonardo
;
Manuela, Lanzini
;
D'Uffizi, Alessandro;Di Nicola, Marta;Calienno, Roberta;Bondì, Jessica;Nubile, Mario
2020

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate the renewal of corneal nerve structure and function in patients with neurotrophic keratopathy (NK) treated with recombinant human nerve growth factor (rhNGF) eye drops. Design: Prospective, interventional, before-and-after case series. Methods: This study included 18 patients with NK with a persistent epithelial defect or corneal ulcer, treated with topical rhNGF, and age-matched healthy controls. Patients underwent clinical examination with corneal fluorescein staining, Schirmer 1 tear test, assessment of corneal sensitivity with the Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer, and morphologic examination of the nerves by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks of treatment. IVCM analysis was used to assess corneal sub-basal nerve density, number of nerve branches, and the diameter of nerve fibers. Results: A complete resolution of the epithelial defect was observed in all patients within 8 weeks. Schirmer 1 test showed a significant improvement of tear film secretion. Change from baseline in corneal sensation was significant (P < .001) but did not approach that of healthy controls. After 8 weeks of treatment, there was a significant increase in the mean nerve density in affected eyes as compared to baseline (P = .007) as well as in the number of nerve branches (P = .008) and nerve fiber diameter (P = .007). Conclusions: Topical treatment with rhNGF was effective in promoting complete corneal healing of persistent epithelial defects and corneal ulcers in patients with NK. This was associated with an improvement of corneal sensitivity and an increase of sub-basal nerve density, diameter, and number of nerve branches, indicating improvement in structure and function of corneal nerves.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11564/720441
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