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Arch Ophthalmol. 2004 Sep;122(9):1338-41.

The effect of nerve growth factor on corneal sensitivity after laser in situ keratomileusis.

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  • 1Wilmer Eye Institute, The Johns Hopkins Hospital,Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA.



To determine if topically administered nerve growth factor (NGF) plays a role in accelerating the recovery of corneal sensitivity after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK).


A prospective double-masked study comparing the effect of topical NGF with balanced salt solution on corneal sensitivity after LASIK in rabbits. Preoperative and postoperative corneal sensitivities were assessed using an esthesiometer (Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer).


Eyes that were treated with topical NGF demonstrated an earlier and faster recovery of corneal sensitivity after LASIK (P =.007). A statistically significant difference in corneal sensitivity was found between the topical NGF and control group postoperatively at 2 (P =.01), 3 (P =.03), and 4 (P =.03) weeks.


Topically administered NGF may play a significant role in accelerating corneal reinnervation after LASIK. Clinical Relevance Our results showed that topical NGF had beneficial effects in the early recovery of corneal sensitivity after LASIK. Nerve growth factor can be a new therapeutic approach for dry eye syndrome after LASIK.

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