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Management of acute Stevens-Johnson syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis utilizing amniotic membrane and topical corticosteroids.

PURPOSE: To describe the results of a novel treatment approach to the acute ophthalmic management of Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN).

DESIGN: Retrospective interventional case series.

METHODS: setting: Institutional. study population: Sixteen eyes of 8 patients with acute, biopsy-proven SJS or TEN and significant ophthalmic involvement. interventional procedure(s): Application of amniotic membrane to the ocular surface, either in the operating room or at the bedside, and short-term use of intensive topical corticosteroid medication. main outcome measures: Visual acuity, slit-lamp appearance of the ocular surface, and patients' subjective impression of ocular comfort.

RESULTS: Two patients expired during the hospitalization. Mean follow-up time for the surviving patients was 7.7 months. Four surviving patients in whom the entire ocular surface (ie, the cornea, bulbar and palpebral conjunctiva, and eyelid margins) was treated with amniotic membrane retained visual acuities of 20/40 or better and an intact ocular surface. In contrast, the initial 2 patients in the study who were treated with only a Prokera device or unsutured amniotic membrane sheets, leaving the palpebral conjunctiva and eyelid margins uncovered, developed more significant ocular surface abnormalities, and 1 developed a corneal perforation.

CONCLUSIONS: Amniotic membrane coverage of the ocular surface in its entirety coupled with the use of intensive short-term topical corticosteroids during the acute phase of SJS and TEN is associated with the preservation of good visual acuity and an intact ocular surface. Partial amniotic membrane coverage of the ocular surface may not serve to minimize the cicatrizing ocular sequelae of SJS and TEN as effectively as complete coverage.

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