A comparison of the effect of hyaluronic acid vs. gentamicin on corneal epithelial healing

H. Stiebel-Kalish*, D. D. Gaton, D. Weinberger, N. Loya, M. Schwartz-Ventik, Y. Yassur, A. Solomon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose. An animal model study was conducted to compare hyaluronic acid application with the practice of patching the eye with antibiotic ointment for treatment of corneal epithelial defects. Methods. An artificial, controlled wound of identical size and depth was inflicted to the corneas of three groups of rabbit eyes. One group was treated with hyaluronic acid and the second with gentamicin ointment. The third group remained untreated (control). The rate of reepithelization was measured at 8-hour intervals until complete healing was observed. Thereafter, the rabbits were sacrificed and comparative histological examinations performed. Results. Rabbit eyes treated with hyaluronic acid showed a significantly faster wound rate of closure compared to untreated eyes and a similar rate to that achieved with gentamicin. In the eyes treated with hyaluronic acid, a normal, multilayered epithelium was observed 48 hours after complete healing, whereas the gentamicin-treated eyes showed an imperfectly structured epithelium. Conclusions. While both hyaluronic acid and gentamicin enhance corneal epithelial healing at comparable rates, our study suggests that hyaluronic acid may have a more favorable effect on the structure of the healing epithelium and can offer an alternative mode of therapy for mechanical corneal abrasions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S577
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 15 Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes


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