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Eur J Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar 11:1120672119833278. doi: 10.1177/1120672119833278. [Epub ahead of print]

Changes in conjunctival epithelial cells after treatment with 0.2% xanthan gum eye drops in mild-moderate dry eye.

Author information

1
1 Regional Referral Center for the Ocular Surface Diseases, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
2
2 Ophthalmology Unity, State Hospital of San Marino, Cailungo, Republic of San Marino.
3
3 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
4
4 SIFI SpA, Catania, Italy.

Abstract

PURPOSE::

To study the effects of xanthan gum eye drops on the ocular surface and conjunctival cytology of patients with mild-moderate dry eye.

METHODS::

This prospective, double-masked, controlled trial included 30 patients (age > 60 and Ocular Surface Disease Index score >12 and <33), divided into two groups of 15 subjects and treated with 0.2% xanthan gum eye drops (group 1) or 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose (group 2) qid. After a run-in period with saline qid, patients were evaluated by Ocular Surface Disease Index questionnaire, clinical assessment, and impression cytology at baseline (T0) and after 1 month (T1). For impression cytology, cellularity, cell-to-cell contacts, nucleus/cytoplasm ratio, chromatin aspect, goblet cells distribution, keratinization, and the presence of inflammatory cells were considered. Parameters were scored from 0 (no alterations) to 3 (evident alterations). For statistical analysis, Student's t-test, Wilcoxon rank-sum test, and Mann-Whitney U-test were used.

RESULTS::

Clinically, after 1 month of treatment, group 1 showed an improvement of corneal stain (T0 = 1.1 ± 1.4; T1 = 0.5 ± 0.7; p = 0.03) and a reduction of Schirmer I test (T0 = 9.8 ± 6.1; T1 = 5.9 ± 4.1; p = 0.001). In group 2, no differences were found between T0 and T1 for all the clinical tests. For impression cytology, in group 1 cellularity (T0 = 0.6 ± 0.5; T1 = 0.3 ± 0.5; p = 0.05), chromatin aspect (T0 = 1.2 ± 0.4; T1 = 0.8 ± 0.5; p = 0.01), keratinization (T0 = 1 ± 0.7; T1 = 0.5 ± 0.5; p = 0.03), and total score (T0 = 5.8 ± 1.3; T1 = 3.6 ± 1.7; p = 0.003) were significantly ameliorated, while in group 2 only total score improved significantly (T0 = 5 ± 1.4; T1 = 4.3 ± 1.5; p = 0.01). The comparison between groups showed significant amelioration for keratinization in group 1 at T1 (p = 0.02).

CONCLUSION::

The treatment with xanthan gum, a molecule with anti-oxidant and mucoadhesive properties, ameliorated conjunctival epithelium of mild-moderate dry eye patients better than carboxymethylcellulose.

KEYWORDS:

Dry eye; carboxymethylcellulose; conjunctival epithelium; conjunctival impression cytology; xanthan gum

PMID:
30852915
DOI:
10.1177/1120672119833278

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