Autologous serum eye drops, produced by separation of liquid and cellular components of the patient’s blood, contain biological nutrients present in natural tears. The aim of this study was to analyse changes in conjunctival impression cytology with transfer and both lachrymal stability and flow tests in patients with dry eye disease after treatment with autologous serum eye drops.
Conjunctival impression cytology and lachrymal flow and stability tests, namely Schirmer’s and tear break-up time, were prospectively studied in patients with dry eye disease before and 1 month after treatment with autologous serum eye drops.
Twenty-four patients (23 women, mean age 53.8±12.6 years) were included in the study. Ten patients (41.7%) had moderate and six (25.0%) had severe dry eye disease. Five patients had rheumatoid arthritis. After treatment, the number and density of conjunctival goblet cells, their size, the size of their nuclei and the nucleus/cytoplasm ratio increased significantly (202.3±107.5 vs 210.1±100.9 cells/mm, p<0.01). Seven of ten patients with grade 3 or 4 metaplasia had an improvement in the degree of metaplasia. Both Schirmer's test and tear break-up time improved significantly in this subgroup of patients. In the multivariate study, the increase in conjunctival goblet cells was associated with the number of goblet cells and the size of the cytoplasm at baseline. No adverse reactions were noted.
Treatment with autologous serum eye drops for 1 month was well tolerated and improved tear production, lachrymal flow and stability tests and conjunctival impression cytology with transfer, increasing the density of the goblet cells.