Interferon Alpha-2b Eye Drops Prevent Recurrence of Pterygium After the Bare Sclera Technique: A Single-Center, Sequential, and Controlled Study


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Abstract

Purpose:To investigate the efficacy and safety of interferon (IFN) alpha-2b eye drops in preventing pterygium recurrence after the bare sclera technique.Methods:Sixty eyes in 53 patients who underwent treatment for primary pterygium (the length of corneal invasion ranged from 2 to 4 mm) were enrolled in this prospective study. All patients were divided in chronological sequence into 2 groups. The control group included the first 30 eyes, whereas the treatment group included the next 30 eyes. After treatment with the bare sclera technique, levofloxacin and 0.1% fluorometholone eye drops were used 4 times a day for 3 months after surgical excision in both groups. In addition, IFN alpha-2b eye drops were applied in the treatment group 4 times a day for 3 months. Throughout an 18-month follow-up period, all patients in both groups were examined 1 day, 10 days, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months, and 18 months after surgery. The main outcome measures were pterygium recurrence, conjunctival redness and thickness, and neovascularization and complications (ie, delayed conjunctival healing, persistent corneal epithelial defection, conjunctival granuloma, and scleral melting and necrosis).Results:The recurrence rates in the control group and the treatment group at the end of the sixth month were 29.2% and 3.7%, respectively, and the rates were significantly different between the 2 groups (P = 0.019). Up to 12 months after surgeries, the recurrence rate was 33.3% in the control group and 7.4% in the treatment group, and the difference between the 2 groups was statistically significant (P = 0.048). The rates at the end of 18 months were the same. During the follow-up period, no complications were observed except for 1 conjunctival granuloma (in the treatment group) and 2 corneal epithelial defects (one in the control group and the other in the treatment group).Conclusions:Administration of IFN alpha-2b eye drops after the bare sclera technique appear safe and effective in reducing the recurrence of pterygium.

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