Influence of topical human epidermal growth factor on postkeratoplasty re-epithelialisation

M M Dellaert, T A Casey, S Wiffen, J Gordon, P Johnson, A J Geerards, W J Rijneveld, L Remeijer, P G Mulder, W H Beekhuis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


AIM: To test the efficacy and safety of recombinant human epidermal growth factor (hEGF) on corneal re-epithelialisation following penetrating keratoplasty.

METHODS: A prospective, randomised, placebo controlled study was carried out in which patients were matched for diagnosis and received either hEGF ophthalmic solution (30 micrograms/ml or 100 micrograms/ml) or placebo in a double masked fashion. Matched pairs of patients received donor corneas from the same donor and were operated by the same surgeon on the same day. At the end of surgery all donor epithelium was removed mechanically. Patients were examined twice daily and fluorescein stained photographs were taken until the epithelium had closed. The area of the defect was measured by planimetry of the fluorescein stained defect on the photographs.

RESULTS: There were no significant differences in re-epithelialisation of the donor cornea between the placebo group and the group treated with 30 micrograms/ml hEGF. Time until complete closure was slightly longer with 100 micrograms/ml hEGF compared with 30 micrograms/ml hEGF and with placebo. Mean healing rate of the epithelial defect with 100 micrograms/ml hEGF was significantly slower than in the other groups.

CONCLUSION: No significant acceleration of corneal re-epithelialisation was demonstrated with the use of recombinant hEGF after penetrating keratoplasty in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-5
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1997


  • Administration, Topical
  • Adult
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Endothelium, Corneal/drug effects
  • Epidermal Growth Factor/administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Wound Healing/drug effects


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