Direct Injection of 5-Fluorouracil Improves Outcomes in Cicatrizing Conjunctival Disorders Secondary to Systemic Disease
Jovanovic, Nina; Russell, William W.; Heisel, Curtis J.; Hood, Christopher T.; Kahana, AlonRead More
Conjunctival cicatrizing conditions are vision threatening, with poor outcomes despite aggressive systemic therapy. This study tests the utility of serial injections of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) into the fornices to treat conjunctival scarring in patients with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid or Stevens–Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis.
Retrospective cohort study. Fisher exact test and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to compare clinical outcomes of patients who were administered 5-FU injections versus patients who were not injected. Model fit was examined for multivariable regression.
One hundred twelve eyes (56 patients) met the inclusion criteria. Thirty-eight eyes (34%) had Stevens–Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, and 74 eyes (66%) were diagnosed with ocular cicatricial pemphigoid. Twenty-five eyes received ≥1 injection of 5-FU. Sixteen eyes received 1–4 injections, while 9 received ≥5. Median follow-up until last encounter was 18 months. Analysis of each disease entity alone and in combination revealed that 5-FU injections were associated with improvement in final visual acuity, corneal scarring, trichiasis, need for/number of mucous membrane graft surgeries, and severity of symblephara.
Serial injection of 5-FU in the affected fornices is a promising treatment for severe vision-threatening conjunctival scarring from ocular cicatricial pemphigoid and Stevens–Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis. Given the excellent safety profile of 5-FU around the eye, the solid biologic foundation for using 5-FU in this setting, and the severe risk of vision loss from these disorders, the authors suggest that serial 5-FU injections be adopted as therapy for conjunctival scarring from ocular cicatricial pemphigoid or Stevens–Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis despite the limitations of this retrospective study.