The use of autologous serum for treating ocular surface disorder has a long history that dates back at least to the 1970s when autologous serum was used via a mobile ocular perfusion pump to treat ocular alkali burns.1 Subsequently, a report2 in the rheumatologic literature appeared in 1984 discussing the use of autologous serum as a tear substitute. Although probably used more often than it was publicized to be, the use of autologous serum for the treatment of ocular surface disorder did not appear to garner widespread interest until the late 1990s (Figure). Since that time, this treatment modality has become increasingly popular, and the indications for its use have expanded rapidly. However, despite the reported successes of the use of this product, there are clinical and nonclinical concerns about this therapy that must also be addressed.
Figure. The number of clinical studies (including case reports) published on the use of autologous serum for ocular surface disorder from January 1975 through December 2010. The search was conducted using PubMed with the key words “autologous serum eye.” All resultant studies were reviewed, and only clinical reports pertaining to the use of autologous serum for the treatment of various types of ocular surface disorders were included.
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