This study aimed to retrospectively evaluate the incidence of kerato-conjunctivitis in patients receiving TBI followed by high-dose cytarabine, and to clarify how effectively topical corticosteroid eye drops prevent kerato-conjunctivitis in these patients. Fifty-three patients who received cytarabine at a dose of 3 g/m2 every 12h for 4 days after receiving TBI (12 Gy) as a conditioning for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) were evaluated. For the prophylaxis of kerato-conjunctivitis, all patients received betamethasone sodium phosphate eye drops every 6h, starting 1 day before the first dose of cytarabine and continuing until 1 day after the last dose of cytarabine or the complete resolution of ocular symptoms. For grading of kerato-conjuncitivitis, the National Cancer Institute-Common Toxicity Criteria were used. Among the 53 patients, the grades of kerato-conjunctivitis were grade 0 in 13 patients, grade 1 in 6 patients (11.3%), grade 2 in 10 patients (18.9%) and grade 3 in 25 patients (47.2%). These results strongly suggest that topical corticosteroid eye drops could not effectively prevent the development of cytarabine-induced kerato-conjunctivitis in HSCT recipients who receive high-dose cytarabine following TBI. Further investigation into a more effective prophylaxis for cytarabine-induced kerato-conjunctivitis in this setting is required.
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