Researchers suggest that while dry eye disease (DED) signs and symptoms significantly improved with eye drops containing either 0.1% hyaluronic acid (HA) or 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), patient outcomes and preferences favored HA, especially earlier in the disease course. With prolonged treatment, the efficacy scores move nearer to parity between the two.

This prospective randomized noninferiority challenge of HA vs. CMC analyzed the ocular surface staining scores (OS-SS) of two groups of patients with moderate keratitis or keratoconjunctivitis related to DED over the course of 84 days. Each group followed a TID dosing regimen.

At day 35, the team discovered that the HA-treated group had achieved a 46.6% reduction in OS-SS from baseline while CMC patients notched a 34.9% reduction. The surface staining continued to improve over time for both treatment arms, the study notes. On the final day of evaluation, HA produced a total reduction of 59.2% over 84 days compared with a total reduction of 54.4% for CMC.

While four adverse events (AEs) occurred in 9.8% of patients treated with HA, compared with three AEs in 5.1% of patients treated with 0.5% CMC, the researchers found that ocular comfort index scores showed better values for stinging and itching on day 84 for hyaluronic acid patients.

Groß D, Childs M, Piaton JM. Comparative study of 0.1% hyaluronic acid versus 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose in patients with dry eye associated with moderate keratitis or keratoconjunctivitis. Clin Ophthalmol. 2018;12:1081-8.