To assess the long-term clinical course of dry eye in patients with chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD).Methods:
A prospective case series of 49 patients with cGVHD was conducted. Complete history and ophthalmic examination were performed at baseline and at 36 months (range, 26-53). All patients received treatment for dry eye.Results:
Of the 49 participants, 18 (37%) had expired at the time of the 3-year eye examination, 11 were lost to follow-up, 11 declined or were unable to attend the final examination, and 9 (18%) completed the study. There was a statistically insignificant improvement in symptoms of dry eye assessed by the ocular surface disease index [start vs. endpoint: 36 ± 22 (range, 4-72) vs. 30 ± 27 (range, 4-86); P = 0.51]. Visual acuity remained stable at approximately 20/20. Lissamine green staining improved and Schirmer test (with anesthetic) worsened, but neither trend was statistically or clinically significant.Conclusions:
Stable visual acuity, tear production, and lissamine green staining and a statistically insignificant improvement in dry eye symptoms were observed in the 9 participants who completed this 3-year prospective case series of 49 patients with cGVHD. Insofar as these patients represent a minority (18%) of the original cohort, their clinical course may not be generalizable to all patients with cGVHD but may still suggest that this patient population's prognosis could be characterized by stability and excellent vision. Sufficiently powered prospective studies are required to validate these postulates.