Objective: To determine if topically administered nerve growth factor (NGF) plays a role in accelerating the recovery of corneal sensitivity after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). Methods: A prospective double-masked study comparing the effect of topical NGF with balanced salt solution on corneal sensitivity after LASIK in rabbits. Preoperative and postoperative corneal sensitivities were assessed using an esthesiometer (Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer). Results: Eyes that were treated with topical NGF demonstrated an earlier and faster recovery of corneal sensitivity after LASIK (P=.007). A statistically significant difference in corneal sensitivity was found between the topical NGF and control group postoperatively at 2 (P=.01), 3 (P=.03), and 4 (P=.03) weeks. Conclusion: Topically administered NGF may play a significant role in accelerating corneal reinnervation after LASIK. Clinical Relevance: Our results showed that topical NGF had beneficial effects in the early recovery of corneal sensitivity after LASIK. Nerve growth factor can be a new therapeutic approach for dry eye syndrome after LASIK.
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