PURPOSE: A randomized clinical study was undertaken to determine whether a topically applied aldose reductase inhibitor, CT-112, was capable of reversing the abnormal morphologic characteristics of corneal epithelial cells, as well as the reduced corneal sensitivity, in diabetic patients. METHODS: Thirty-nine diabetic patients were randomly divided into two groups: one group was treated with topical aldose reductase inhibitor (CT-112) in an ophthalmic preparation, and a control group was treated with the same preparation without the inhibitor. Specular microscopy was performed to analyze the morphologic characteristics of corneal epithelial cells before and after the treatment. Corneal sensitivity was measured by means of the Cochet-Bonnet esthesiometer. RESULTS: The anterior surface area of superficial cells in the group treated with CT-112 was significantly decreased from a mean value of 881 to 728 μm2 (P < .0001), whereas the control group showed no significant changes. Corneal sensitivity remained decreased in the control group, whereas that in the group treated with CT- 112 significantly improved, from 5.36 to 1.37 g/mm2 (P < .0001). CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that treatment with topical CT-112 is capable of reversing abnormal morphologic characteristics of corneal epithelial cells and reduced corneal sensitivity in diabetic patients.
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