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The effect of topical pimecrolimus on keratoconjunctivitis sicca and chronic superficial keratitis in dogs: results from an exploratory study.





Pimecrolimus is an ascomycin derivative that interferes selectively with the activation of T cells and mast cells and inhibits the production of inflammatory cytokines. This study evaluated the efficacy of an experimental ophthalmic formulation of pimecrolimus in treating keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and chronic superficial keratitis (CSK) in dogs. ANIMALS AND PROCEDURES: Eight dogs with KCS and six with CSK were included. The dogs were of various breeds, suffered from chronic conditions, and had been pretreated unsuccessfully. The affected eyes were treated with 1 drop of an experimental, corn oil-based pimecrolimus 1% formulation three times a day. Parameters evaluated included Schirmer tear test (STT), ocular discharge, conjunctival inflammation, corneal inflammatory cell infiltrate and scarring, and comfort level.


The effect of pimecrolimus 1% was pronounced (increase in STT values to higher than 4 mm/min, no signs of inflammation) or moderate (increase in STT values of 3-4 mm/min, mild signs of corneal/conjunctival inflammation) in a total of 6/8 animals with KCS. In 4/6 animals with CSK, the effect was either pronounced (total regression of fibrovascular infiltration into the cornea, no corneal scarring) or moderate (distinct regression of pannus, mild corneal scarring). The response to treatment was unsatisfactory in four of 14 animals.


Results of this exploratory study suggest that topical 1% pimecrolimus may be a new effective treatment for keratoconjunctivitis sicca and chronic superficial keratitis in dogs.

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