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The Impact of Artificial Tears Containing Hydroxypropyl Guar on Mucous Layer

Moon, Sang-Woong MD, PhD*; Hwang, Je-Hyung MD†; Chung, So-Hyang MD, PhD‡; Nam, Kee-Hyun MD§

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3181ca636b
Basic Investigation

Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of lubricant eyedrops containing propylene glycol 400 (PEG) and polyethylene glycol (PG) with hydroxypropyl guar (HP-guar) as a gelling agent on the precorneal mucous layer in vivo.

Methods: Sixteen New Zealand white rabbits were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. All rabbits received PEG/PG/HP-guar tear products in the right eye. PEG/PG/HP-guar with Polyquad, 0.1% hyaluronate sodium, 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose, or phosphate-buffered saline was placed in the left eyes of animals in each group. All eyedrops were used 4 times a day for 7 days. An additional 8 rabbits were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. One group received PEG/PG/HP-guar products 4 times a day for 7 days (long-term exposure group), and the other group received PEG/PG/HP-guar products 3 times at 5-minute intervals (short-term exposure group). Fifteen minutes after the last drop was administered, each cornea was immediately excised and mucous layer thickness measured by transmission electron microscopy.

Results: Mucous layer thickness was significantly greater in eyes treated with PEG/PG/HP-guar products compared with those treated with 0.1% hyaluronate sodium, 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose, or phosphate-buffered saline (all P values < 0.001). There were no significant differences in mucous layer thickness between PEG/PG/HP-guar products and PEG/PG/HP-guar with Polyquad or in the long- and short-term exposure animals.

Conclusions: This study demonstrates that even a short exposure to PEG/PG/HP-guar tear product increased precorneal mucous layer thickness.

Author Information

From the *Deparment of Ophthalmology, East-west Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea; †Department of Ophthalmology, Inje University College of Medicine, Sanggye Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea; ‡Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea; and §Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

Received for publication April 28, 2009; revision received October 9, 2009; accepted November 2, 2009.

Supported by a grant of the BumSuk Academic Research Fund of 2008.

None of authors have financial or proprietary interests in any material or method mentioned.

S-W. Moon and J-H. Hwang contributed equally to this work and both should be considered as first authors.

Reprints: Kee-Hyun Nam, Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-Dong, Seodaemun-Gu, 120-752 Seoul, Korea (e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.