Effect of topical administration of epidermal growth factor on healing of corneal epithelial defects in horses

Kristina Burling, Mary A. Seguin, Peggy Marsh, Kathy Brinkman, John E Madigan, Mark Thurmond, Paula Moon-Massat, Mark J Mannis, Christopher J Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective - To characterize healing of corneal epithelial defects in horses and to evaluate the ability of epidermal growth factor (EGF) to modulate rate of corneal epithelial healing in horses. Sample Population - 20 eyes in 12 adult horses. Procedure - Corneal epithelial wounds were created by mechanically debriding the limbus. Corneal healing was recorded for 3 treatment groups: 50 μg of EGF/ml (n = 5 eyes), 5 μg of EGF/ml (7), and PBS solution (8). Corneal healing was recorded once daily after instillation of fluorescein stain by use of photography and calculating the area of the wound, using imaging software. Results - After corneal debridement, re-epithelialization was rapid and progressed in a linear fashion for the first 5 to 7 days after surgery in all groups. After that period, rates of healing decreased. A profound increase in the degree of inflammation, neovascularization, melanosis, and scarring was observed in eyes treated with the high dose of EGF (50 μg/ml), but there was not a statistical difference in mean healing time or in mean decrease in radius during the linear phase between the control and either EGF treatment groups. However, for all 8 horses in which both eyes were debrided, the first eye healed significantly faster than the second eye, regardless of treatment. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Beneficial effects of topical administration of a high dose of EGF for acceleration of healing of corneal defects in eyes of horses are outweighed by the intensity of the associated inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1150-1155
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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