In vivo evaluation of corneal nerves and epithelial healing after treatment with recombinant nerve growth factor for neurotrophic keratopathy.

To evaluate the renewal of corneal nerves structure and function in patients with neurotrophic keratopathy (NK) treated with recombinant human Nerve Growth Factor (rhNGF) eyedrops.

Prospective, interventional, before-and-after case series METHODS: This study included 18 patients with NK with a persistent epithelial defect or corneal ulcer, treated with topical rhNGF and age-matched healthy controls. Patients underwent clinical examination with corneal fluorescein staining, Schirmer 1 tear test, assessment of corneal sensitivity with the Cochet Bonnet aesthesiometer, and morphological examination of the nerves by In vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM) at baseline and at 4 and 8 weeks of treatment.

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IVCM analysis was used to assess corneal sub-basal nerve density, number of nerve branches, and the diameter of nerve fibers