Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of topical cyclosporine-A 0.05% (CsA) in the treatment of dry eye syndrome in ocular graft-versus-host disease after bone marrow transplantation (BMT) of hematopoietic stem cells.
Methods: One-hundred five patients were enrolled in a retrospective, comparative, interventional case series. Eighty-one patients received topical CsA starting 1 month before BMT (treatment group), and 24 patients did not receive CsA until at least 6 months after the transplantation (control group). Mean follow-up time was 17.5 ± 11.0 months (range: 6.0-49.0 months). Clinical history, ocular surface disease index questionnaire, slit-lamp examination, lissamine green and fluorescein staining of the ocular surface, tear breakup time, and Schirmer test with topical anesthesia were obtained to create a composite dry eye-grading score.
Results: Dry eye symptoms were significantly more severe in the control group at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years (P < 0.05). There was no correlation with type of stem cell transplant (related vs. unrelated donor), presenting indication for BMT, or concurrent systemic immunosuppressive medications.
Conclusions: Pre-BMT initiation of topical CsA may reduce the inflammatory response in the lacrimal glands that may be responsible for the development of post-BMT keratitis sicca.