The Dry Eye Zone

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Study: Treatment that helps pain in Cogan's EBMD

Efficacy of a Topical Heparan Sulfate Mimetic Polymer on Ocular Surface Discomfort in Patients with Cogan's Epithelial Basement Membrane Dystrophy. Labetoulle M, J Ocul Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jul/Aug;35(6):359-365.

Purpose: Treatment of persistent ocular discomfort in patients with Cogan's epithelial basement membrane dystrophy (EBMD) is a challenge for ophthalmologists. This study aimed to determine the efficacy of a topical heparan sulfate mimetic polymer (HSMP) in reducing ocular discomfort in EBMD patients.

Methods: This retrospective, noninterventional study included 22 consecutive patients in 3 tertiary ophthalmological units with spontaneous, recurrent, acute ocular pain, resistant to various topical lubricants. After EBMD diagnosis, HSMP treatment was initiated while lubricating eye drops were continued. The main study outcome was the change in ocular discomfort assessed using the ocular surface disease index (OSDI) from initiation of treatment to last follow-up visit.

Results: The mean OSDI decreased from 46.7 ± 22.3 to 31.6 ± 17.4 (P < 0.001) at first visit and 32.5 ± 17.9 (P < 0.01) at last visit. The rate of patients with severe ocular surface disease (OSDI >33) decreased from 68.2% to 36.4% at first visit and 42.9% at last visit. After a median follow-up of 8.5 months, 7 (31.8%) patients discontinued the HSMP treatment due to a marked improvement in ocular surface comfort and no recurrence of ocular pain, 5 (22.7%) due to lack of efficacy, and 1 (4.5%) due to an ocular adverse event (not treatment related). Eight patients continued treatment after the last visit and 1 patient was lost to follow-up. Globally, HSMP prevented acute painful episodes in 11 (61.1%) of 18 patients followed for ∼4 months.

Conclusions: Topical HSMP may be an option for alleviating ocular discomfort in patients with EBMD resistant to standard symptomatic treatments.