Purpose: We have previously shown that the fibronectin-derived peptide PHSRN (Pro-His-Ser-Arg-Asn) promotes corneal epithelial wound healing in vivo. We have now examined the clinical efficacy of eye drops containing the PHSRN peptide for treatment of persistent epithelial defects (PEDs) of the cornea. Methods: Seven patients (5 men and 2 women; mean age ± SD, 78.3 ± 9.4 years) with PEDs were treated by administration of eye drops containing PHSRN. The duration of the PEDs before treatment was 7.4 ± 5.5 weeks. The eye drops were administered as 1 drop per eye 4 times a day. Epithelial defects were observed with a slit-lamp microscope and photographed during the treatment course. Results: Epithelial defects in 5 of the 7 affected eyes (71%) responded to PHSRN treatment as manifested by complete epithelial resurfacing within the 4-week period after treatment initiation. The mean ± SD time required for complete epithelial resurfacing in the 5 responding subjects was 15.8 ± 3.4 days. No adverse effects of treatment were observed in any of the subjects. Conclusions: Eye drops containing the fibronectin-derived PHSRN peptide are clinically efficacious for the treatment of PEDs.
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