Autologous hemoderivative eye drops have a role in the management of persistent epithelial defects (PEDs), but their use may be limited by cost and availability. Finger-prick autologous blood (FAB) treatment uses whole capillary blood, obtained from a sterilized fingertip, as an alternative form of hemoderivative eye drop therapy. To date, 1 report has described the safe and effective use of FAB for dry eye and PEDs. We report the results of 10 eyes (10 patients) treated with FAB for PEDs.
Ten patients with PEDs in 1 eye for a mean of 259 ± 201 days due to diabetic neurotrophic keratopathy (n = 3), herpetic keratitis (n = 3), postpenetrating keratoplasty (n = 1), keratoconjunctivitis sicca (n = 1), postradiotherapy (n = 1), and neuropathic ulcer (n = 1) were treated with FAB 4 times a day for 28 days in addition to conventional therapies. All patients had been unsuccessfully treated with conventional therapy before commencing on FAB. None of the patients had received any surgical treatment for PED.
At day 28, the PED had healed in 60% (n = 6) of the eyes. In 1 eye, the PED reduced in size by half. Thirty percent (n = 3) of patients had incomplete follow-up data at the end of the study.
FAB in combination with conventional treatment may be successfully used in the management of refractory PEDs. No adverse effects arising from FAB treatment were observed.