Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Steroids could help heal some corneal ulcers, study finds

Date:
October 18, 2011
Source:
University of California - San Francisco
Summary:
A new study gives hope to those suffering from severe cases of bacterial corneal ulcers, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. The use of topical corticosteroids in a randomized controlled trial was found to be neither beneficial nor harmful in the overall patient population in the study. However, it helped patients who had more serious forms of bacterial corneal ulcers, according to researchers.

A UCSF study gives hope to those suffering from severe cases of bacterial corneal ulcers, which can lead to blindness if left untreated. The use of topical corticosteroids in a randomized controlled trial was found to be neither beneficial nor harmful in the overall patient population in the study. However, it helped patients who had more serious forms of bacterial corneal ulcers, according to UCSF researchers.

In a paper published this month in the Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, researchers found significant vision improvement -- one and a half to two lines of improvement on an eye chart -- by using steroid therapy on patients with severe ulcers.

"We consider this finding very significant; it's a clinically meaningful difference," said the paper's co-author Nisha Acharya, MD, MS, associate professor and director of the Uveitis Service in the UCSF Department of Ophthalmology. Although secondary to the study's original purpose, Acharya said the results in severe cases were identified early on, so "we didn't start doing all of these analyses after the fact. It was of interest. So I think there is something there."

The use of topical corticosteroids is somewhat controversial within the ophthalmology community, with no specific evidence pointing one way or the other. Concerns include corneal perforation and worsening vision.

"It's important to note that in the worst ulcer group, not only do we not find a safety problem, we actually found that steroids resulted in a benefit in vision," Acharya said. "So I think that is really reassuring because those were the people with whom we were most scared to use steroids."

UCSF researchers collaborated with colleagues at the Aravind Eye Care System, in Madurai, India. They studied 500 participants from the United States and India between September 2006 and February 2010 in the Steroids for Corneal Ulcers Trial (SCUT). Half of the patients received corticosteroid treatment and the other half received placebos.

Complications from contact lens use are the most common culprit in corneal ulcers in the United States, while agriculture-related injuries are the most common in India. Researchers checked participants three months after the start of the trial, testing for visual acuity and corneal perforations. Patients showed no significant improvement in their vision for participants in the corticosteroid treatment group versus those in the control group.

The study also reinforced the use of steroids in treatment of the ulcers because it found that they were not harmful.

"There was no increase in cornea perforations in our patient population," Acharya said. "I'm reassured to know that it's not associated with harm."

Building on their findings, Acharya and her colleagues intend to continue their work, studying patients with even more severe corneal ulcers.

"It makes us feel like we're moving towards an evidence-based paradigm of care for corneal ulcers rather than a trial and error sort of approach," Acharya said. "We have a good collaboration and now that we've had some success with this, we hope to be able to continue with it to answer other questions related to this field."

The lead author of the paper is Muthiah Srinivasan, MD, of Aravind Eye Hospital; co-authors are Jeena Mascarenhas, MD, Revathi Rajaraman, MD, Meenakshi Ravindran, MD, Prajna Lalitha, MD, of Aravind Eye Hospital; David Glidden, PhD, of UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Thomas Lietman, MD, Kathryn Ray, MA, Kevin Hong, BA, Catherine Oldenburg, MPH, and Salena Lee, OD of The Francis I. Proctor Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology at UCSF; Michael Zegans, MD, of Dartmouth Medical School; and Stephen McLeod, MD, of UCSF Department of Ophthalmology.

The study was supported by funds from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Francisco. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Srinivasan, J. Mascarenhas, R. Rajaraman, M. Ravindran, P. Lalitha, D. V. Glidden, K. J. Ray, K. C. Hong, C. E. Oldenburg, S. M. Lee, M. E. Zegans, S. D. McLeod, T. M. Lietman, N. R. Acharya. Corticosteroids for Bacterial Keratitis: The Steroids for Corneal Ulcers Trial (SCUT). Archives of Ophthalmology, 2011; DOI: 10.1001/archophthalmol.2011.315

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Francisco. "Steroids could help heal some corneal ulcers, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018131349.htm>.
University of California - San Francisco. (2011, October 18). Steroids could help heal some corneal ulcers, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018131349.htm
University of California - San Francisco. "Steroids could help heal some corneal ulcers, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111018131349.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Microneedle Patch Promises Painless Pricks

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 18, 2014) Researchers at The National University of Singapore have invented a new microneedle patch that could offer a faster and less painful delivery of drugs such as insulin and painkillers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

Raw: Nurse Nina Pham Arrives in Maryland

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) The first nurse to be diagnosed with Ebola at a Dallas hospital walked down the stairs of an executive jet into an ambulance at an airport in Frederick, Maryland, on Thursday. Pham will be treated at the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

Raw: Cruise Ship Returns to US Over Ebola Fears

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) A Caribbean cruise ship carrying a Dallas health care worker who is being monitored for signs of the Ebola virus is heading back to Texas, US, after being refused permission to dock in Cozumel, Mexico. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

Spanish Govt: Four Suspected Ebola Cases in Spain Test Negative

AFP (Oct. 17, 2014) All four suspected Ebola cases admitted to hospitals in Spain on Thursday have tested negative for the deadly virus in a first round of tests, the government said Friday. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins