Dry eye is one of the most common ocular surface disorders. Although artificial tear drops therapy is the most widely used treatment, it has recently been suggested that autologous serum could be a beneficial alternative treatment for this disorder, but its use is controversial.
We searched in Epistemonikos, the largest database of systematic reviews in health, which is maintained by screening multiple information sources, including MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane, among others. We extracted data from the systematic reviews, reanalyzed data of primary studies, conducted a meta-analysis and generated a summary of findings table using the GRADE approach.
We identified six systematic reviews, including seven primary studies overall, of which all were randomized trials. We concluded that autologous serum treatment might not lead to adverse effects compared to artificial teardrops, but the certainty of the evidence is low. On the other hand, we are uncertain whether autologous serum therapy improves the quality of life, severity of the pathology, pain or the corneal epitheliopathy grade compared to artificial tear drops as the certainty of the evidence has been assessed as very low.