THER­A­PEU­TIC OP­TIONS FOR CORNEAL CON­DI­TION COM­PARED

EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfro­nt -

New re­search from the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia–Davis sug­gests that top­i­cal med­i­ca­tions and surgery can both be ef­fec­tive in treat­ing a painful eye con­di­tion called eosinophil­ic ker­a­to­con­junc­tivi­tis (EK)—though use of top­i­cal cor­ti­cos­teroids was associated with longer healing times.

In EK, a type of white blood cell called eosinophil­s ac­cu­mu­late in the cornea, the nor­mally clear “wind­shield” of the eye. While the cause is un­known, EK cases are most of­ten di­ag­nosed in sum­mer months, sug­gest­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal fac­tors may con­trib­ute to the con­di­tion. EK, which causes dis­com­fort and vis­ual im­pair­ment, can be dif­fi­cult to treat, some­times per­sist­ing for sev­eral months. It is also associated with sec­ondary in­fec­tions.

For their study, the Davis re­searchers re­viewed the records of 29 horses di­ag­nosed with EK. Twenty of the study horses were treated with med­i­ca­tions alone, re­ceiv­ing top­i­cal an­timi­cro­bials, top­i­cal non­s­teroidal an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory med­i­ca­tions, top­i­cal cor­ti­cos­teroids, top­i­cal an­ti­his­tamines and var­i­ous sys­temic med­i­ca­tions. The re­main­der of the horses un­der­went sur­gi­cal pro­ce­dures in ad­di­tion to med­i­cal treat­ment, in­clud­ing the ex­ci­sion of the af­fected por­tion of the cornea (ker­a­te­c­tomy), or de­bride­ment of the af­fected area with an oph­thalmic di­a­mond burr.

The re­searchers found no sta­tis­ti­cally sig­nif­i­cant dif­fer­ence in the me­dian time re­quired for healing be­tween the horses treated with a ker­a­te­c­tomy or de­bride­ment and horses treated with med­i­cal ther­apy alone. How­ever, horses treated with top­i­cal cor­ti­cos­teroids had sig­nif­i­cantly longer healing times com­pared to those who did not re­ceive top­i­cal steroids.

Although it is dif­fi­cult to com­pare across stud­ies, times to dis­ease res­o­lu­tion for horses in Cal­i­for­nia seem shorter than for horses af­fected with EK in other parts of the United States, sug­gest­ing re­gional dif­fer­ences in dis­ease sever­ity.

Ref­er­ence: “Equine eosinophil­ic ker­a­to­con­junc­tivi­tis in Cal­i­for­nia: Ret­ro­spec­tive study of 47 eyes from 29 cases (1993-2017),” Vet­eri­nary Ophthalmol­ogy, Jan­uary 2019

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