Purpose: The aims of this study were to evaluate the efficacy of topical 0.05% cyclosporine A on clinical signs and symptoms of vernal keratoconjunctivitis (VKC) and to examine its effect on tear cytokine levels.
Methods: Twenty-one patients with active VKC and 15 healthy volunteers were included. Patients were treated with topical 0.05% cyclosporine A. Symptoms and signs were scored on the day of enrollment and at the end of month 1 and month 3. Tear and serum samples were collected before and on the third month of treatment. Interleukin (IL)-2, soluble IL-2 receptor (sIL-2R), IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, IL-13, IL-17, eotaxin, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) in cell-free tear and serum supernatants were measured by multiplex bead analysis.
Results: At the end of month 1 and month 3 with topical 0.05% cyclosporine A treatment, statistically a significant decrease was observed in sign and symptom scores of the patients (P < 0.0001). Tear IL-2, sIL-2R, IL-9, IL-17, IFN-γ, and eotaxin levels in VKC patients were significantly higher than those in controls (P < 0.05). IL-3, IL-4, IL-5, and TNFα levels tended to be higher in VKC patients. There was also statistically significant reduction from before 0.05% cyclosporine A treatment to after treatment in tear levels of IL-4, IL-5, IL-17A, TNFα, IFN-γ, and eotaxin (P < 0.05). IL-2 and sIL-2R levels tended to be lower than pretreatment levels.
Conclusions: Topical 0.05% cyclosporine A is effective in alleviating signs and symptoms of VKC patients and shows its effect probably by decreasing the local production of some inflammatory mediators in tears.