Effect of epidermal growth factor ointment on persistent epi
Healthy corneal epithelium acts as a barrier against damage to the deeper structures in the eye. Failure in the mechanisms of corneal epithelization can lead to persistent epithelial defects of the cornea (PEDs) and can compromise its function. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) promotes the proliferation, migration, and differentiation of epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and fibroblasts during wound healing and may be beneficial in treating patients with PEDs.

This case involved a man in his seventies with a long-standing history of dry eye and herpetic keratitis. He exhibited PEDs with peripheral corneal vascularization and scarring in the left eye as a result of his diseases. At the time of diagnosis, his visual acuity was 1.0 LogMAR, and the corneal sensation was under 15 mm. He presented with eye pain, photophobia, and epiphora. He had previously undergone treatment with topical levofloxacin 0.5%, topical sodium hyaluronate 0.15%, and lubricant ointment. Despite the treatment, the area of the epithelial defects was 3 × 3 mm2, and perilesional corneal edema persisted near the center for at least 4 weeks without any improvement. Therefore, the patient was also instructed to apply EGF ointment twice a day. There was no adverse drug reaction. After 4 weeks of treatment, the lesion improved, and after 6 weeks, the corneal epithelial defects were completely healed, with stromal haze and peripheral corneal vascularization.

In conclusion, EGF ointment promoted corneal epithelial healing, improved visual acuity, and mitigated ocular symptoms in patients with PEDs refractory to conventional therapy. These findings indicate that EGF ointment is potentially beneficial in the management of refractory PEDs.

Source: https://bmcophthalmol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12886-020-01408-x