Efficacy of topical nerve growth factor treatment in dogs affected by dry eye

Marco Coassin, Alessandro Lambiase, Nicola Costa, Alessandra De Gregorio, Roberto Sgrulletta, Marta Sacchetti, Luigi Aloe, Stefano Bonini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Preliminary data show that nerve growth factor (NGF) may improve tear production in humans. We evaluated the efficacy of topical NGF treatment in dogs who developed dry eye after the excision of the third eyelid lacrimal gland. Methods: English Bulldogs (2- to 6-year-old males and females) that had undergone the surgical removal of the prolapsed lacrimal gland of the third eyelid in both eyes at the age of 3-6 months developed chronic keratoconjunctivitis sicca associated with a decrease of Schirmer tear test I values after at least 1 year. One eye, randomly selected, of each dog was treated twice daily with 100±l of NGF ointment for 1 month, while the fellow eye was used as control and treated with the ointment vehicle only. At baseline and after 1 month of NGF treatment the following examinations were performed: corneal evaluation by slit lamp, fluorescein staining, Schirmer tear test I, tear ferning test, corneal esthesiometry by cotton swab and conjunctival impression cytology. Results: Topical application of NGF caused a significant impr ovement of all the evaluated parameters compared with baseline values. In contrast, in the control eyes there was no significant difference between the values measured before and after treatment. In particular, after NGF treatment superficial punctate keratopathy was resolved, corneal haze was reduced from stage 4 to stage 2 and Schirmer test values increased (17.2±1.7 mm/min vs 4.5±1.3 mm/min; p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-155
Number of pages5
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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