The effect of hydroxypropyl-guar nanoemulsion on signs and symptoms of dry eye



      To examine the effect of hydroxypropyl-guar nanoemulsion (HP-Guar nanoemulsion, Alcon Laboratories Ltd, Fort Worth, TX, USA) versus saline (0.9% sodium chloride; Pfizer Inc., Bentley WA Australia) on the comfort and tear film properties of people with dry eye disease both in the short-term (up to 2 h post-drop instillation) and longer-term (after 4 weeks of 4-times daily use), and to examine the effect on tear inflammatory markers after 4 weeks.


      This was a prospective, investigator-masked, randomised, cross-over dispensing study. Twenty participants with dry eye disease (5 males: 15 females) with average age 46.9 ± 14.4 (range 26 to 70) years were randomized to either HP-Guar nanoemulsion, or saline eye drops. Ocular symptoms, lipid layer thickness, tear evaporation, tear osmolarity and non-invasive break-up time were measured pre-drop instillation, 1 h and 2 h post-eye drop instillation, and after 4-weeks of 4-times daily drop use. Tear inflammatory mediators were measured pre-drop instillation and after 4-weeks. After 4-weeks, patients had a 4-week washout period and then crossed over to the alternate drop.


      With HP-Guar nanoemulsion, participants reported less grittiness/burning/stinging 1 h post eye drop instillation compared to baseline (79.5 ± 23.3 vs. 66.8 ± 27.7, p = 0.02); less dryness 1 h and 2 h post eye drop instillation compared to baseline (77.8 ± 23.0 and 76.2 ± 23.7 vs. 61.0 ± 27.1 respectively, p < 0.01 for both); and greater overall satisfaction 1 h post drop instillation and after 4 weeks of daily use compared to baseline (80.4 ± 21.6 and 83.4 ± 16.6 vs. 68.6 ± 26.0 respectively, p ≤ 0.011 for both). With saline, participants reported less dryness after 4 weeks of daily use compared to baseline (74.2 ± 23.8 vs. 60.2 ± 24.0, p < 0.01). For HP-Guar nanoemulsion, average lipid layer thickness was significantly thicker 2 h post drop-instillation (79.5 ± 21.7 nm) compared to baseline (63.7 ± 18.9 nm) and the 4-week assessment (62.4 ± 23.1 nm, p < 0.01 for both). For saline, average lipid layer thickness was significantly thicker at 1 h and 2 h post eye drop instillation (76.0 ± 23.8 nm and 80.4 ± 24.8 nm) compared to baseline (61.0 ± 15.6 nm, p < 0.01 for both). There was no difference in inflammatory mediators or other tear variables between drops or visits.


      HP-Guar nanoemulsion was more effective for improving a range of subjective dry eye symptoms both in the short and long-term compared to saline. Both HP-Guar nanoemulsion and saline transiently increased lipid layer thickness.


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