In vitro and in vivo experiments have shown that topical rebamipide will increase the number of goblet cells in the bulbar conjunctiva. The purpose of this study was to determine whether topical rebamipide will enhance the recovery of conjunctival goblet cells that were damaged during vitrectomy. Forty patients who underwent vitrectomy surgery were studied. The 40 patients consisted of 20 with diabetes mellitus (DM) and 20 patients without DM. They were randomized in a 1:1 ratio into groups that were treated or not treated with topical 2% rebamipide after the surgery. Impression cytology was performed at the end of surgery and at 14 days after the surgery. The mean goblet cell density of each specimen was determined by averaging the total number of goblet cells obtained from three consecutive high magnification microscopic images. In patients without DM, the mean goblet cell density at 14 days after the vitrectomy was significantly higher in eyes with topical rebemipide than in eyes without rebemipide (P<0.01). In patients with DM, a similar tendency was observed but the difference was not significant (P=0.09). These results suggest that topical rebamipide can be helpful in patients with globlet cell damage that occur during and after vitrectomy.
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