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Topical Coenzyme Q10 Eye Drops as an Adjuvant Treatment in Challenging Refractory Corneal Ulcers: A Case Series and Literature Review

Gumus, Koray M.D., F.E.B.Ophth.

doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000229
Review Article

Purpose: The management of nonhealing corneal ulcers, particularly in patients with neurotrophic corneas, remains a challenging problem today. Some patients may fail to respond to conventional therapy, making new alternative agents necessary to treat these resistant cases. In this article, we aim to present six challenging cases of refractory corneal ulcers that revealed healing response to the adjuvant treatment with coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) eye drops and to review the literature examining of new therapeutic agents.

Methods: Our study was designed as a descriptive case series demonstrating the use of novel coenzyme Q10 eye drops in refractory corneal ulcers. In our case series, CoQ10 eye drops were added to the existing therapies as an adjuvant agent in six cases: three cases with neurotrophic corneal ulcers, two cases with postinfectious corneal ulcers (one unknown etiology+one Acanthamoeba keratitis), and 1 case with Stevens–Johnson syndrome. All cases were monitored regularly and corneal images were taken at all visits.

Results: All nonhealing corneas with conventional therapy revealed recovery after the addition of CoQ10 eye drops. Except for two cases that responded to the CoQ10 eye drops more rapidly (within 1 to 2 weeks), complete corneal healing was observed in four cases between weeks 4 and 8. No adverse events were reported in these cases throughout the follow-up period.

Conclusion: Coenzyme Q10 eye drops can be considered as an important adjuvant therapeutic agent promoting corneal epithelial wound healing in challenging cases.

Ocular Surface and Contact Lens Section, Department of Ophthalmology, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey; Currently Ocular Surface Center and Alkek Eye Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX.

Address correspondence to Koray Gumus, M.D., F.E.B.Ophth., Department of Ophthalmology, Erciyes University School of Medicine, Kayseri, Turkey, 38039; e-mail:

The author has no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Accepted November 02, 2015

© 2017 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.