Corneal epithelial defects heal slowly in patients with diabetes, limbal stem cell deficiency and severe chemical burns. Erythropoietin is a glycoprotein hormone that promotes red blood cell proliferation and inhibits apoptosis of erythroid progenitors as well as nonhematopoietic cells. In this study, 15 New Zealand albino rabbits were divided into three groups following creation of unilateral, uniform corneal abrasion. First group received local treatment with erythropoietin-containing cellulose-based gel four times daily. The second group received treatment with no erythropoietin and the third group did not receive any treatment. The healing process was monitored daily with cobalt-blue-filtered slit-lamp photography until the cornea was fully epithelised. The corneas were then removed for histology. The time to epithelise was not statistically different in the three groups. Thus the study concluded that erythropoietin has no beneficial effect on the rate of corneal abrasion healing in rabbit eyes.

Effect of Erythropoietin on healing of corneal epithelial defects in rabbits.
Livny E, Livnat T, Yakimov M, et al.
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Bheemanagouda Patil

Waikato Hospital, Hamilton, New Zealand

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