Alkali ocular burns in Martinique (French West Indies) Evaluation of the use of an amphoteric solution as the rinsing product

Harold Merle, Angélique Donnio, Lucas Ayeboua, Franck Michel, Félix Thomas, Jeannine Ketterle, Christian Leonard, Patrice Josset, Max Gerard
Burns 2005, 31 (2): 205-11

PRECIS: During the 4 years of this study, we noted 66 cases of alkali ocular burns, or approximately 16 cases per year, nearly half (45.5%) of which are due to an assault. For grade 1 and 2 burns the time elapsed to reepithelialization appears to be shorter when rinsed with Diphoterine* versus physiological solution.

PURPOSE: Comparison of the effectiveness of two rinsing solutions for emergency use: a physiological solution and an amphoteric solution (Diphoterine*, Laboratories Prevor, Valmondois, France). Description of the clinical and progressive characteristics of alkali burns treated at the University Hospital Center of Fort de France in Martinique (French West Indies).

DESIGN: Prospective consecutive observational case series and nonrandomized comparative study.

PARTICIPANTS: Sixty-six patients were included. The total number of burned eyes is 104. Forty-eight eyes (46%) were rinsed with physiological solution and 56 eyes (54%) with Diphoterine*.

METHODS: All patients benefited from an ocular rinse with 500ml of physiological solution or Diphoterine*, followed by a complete ophthalmologic exam. The ocular injuries were classified according to the Roper-Hall modification of the Hughes classification system. The same standardized therapeutic protocol was applied and adapted to the seriousness of the burn.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Demographic data, time to corneal reepithelialization, final best corrected visual acuity and complications were analysed.

RESULTS: Twenty-eight (42.4%) patients have a unilateral burn and 38 (57.6%) patients have bilateral burns. In decreasing order of frequency, the circumstances surrounding the injury are: assaults in 45.5% of cases (n=30), work-related accidents in 32% of cases (n=31), and domestic accidents in 23% of cases (n=15). For grade 1 and 2 burns the time elapsed to reepithelialization appears to be shorter when rinsed with Diphoterine* versus physiological solution (respectively): 1.9+/-1 days versus 11.1+/-1.4 days (p=10(-7)) and 5.6+/-4.9 days versus 10+/-9.2 days (p=0.02). For grade 3 and 4 burns, there are complications in 11 cases (11.6%): 8 corneal opacities and 3 perforations.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first conducted in humans that takes into account the type of ocular rinse product used in the progressive follow-up study of injuries. The time elapsed to reepithelialization is shorter with Diphoterine* for grade 1 and 2 burns. There are not enough cases of grade 3 and 4 burns to make a conclusion. Diphoterine* seems very effective in terms of its mechanism of action and the experimental and clinical results.

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