Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare the effect of chloramphenicol eye drops or ointment, high-concentration hyaluronic acid, or no treatment on reepithelialization of corneal erosions in an experimental model.
Methods: Uniform 6-mm corneal erosions were created in 23 rabbit eyes. The rabbits were randomized to 4 treatment groups: (1) chloramphenicol eye drops group, (2) chloramphenicol ointment, (3) hyaluronic acid 2.3%, and (4) untreated. Treatment was administered every 8 hours until reepithelialization occurred. Eyes were photographed every 8 hours with a cobalt blue–filtered light with fluorescein drops until reepithelialization occurred. The area of the erosion at each time point was analyzed.
Results: There were no significant differences in the reepithelialization of the corneal erosion among the 3 treatment groups (72–75 hours, P > 0.05). The time was significantly shorter (51 hours) for the control untreated group (P = 0.005).
Conclusions: The use of chloramphenicol in the form of eye drops or ointment for prophylaxis in corneal erosions has a similar effect on the healing rate of the erosion. Both forms of the antibiotic and high-concentration hyaluronic acid had an effect of slowing down the healing of the erosion when compared with when no treatment was given. Therefore, the decision to treat erosions with eye drops or ointment can be based on the patient's comfort.