Fibrosis and excessive extracellular matrix production are characteristic features of lacrimal gland chronic GVHD (cGVHD). Tranilast (n-3,4-anthoranilic acid), used for fibrotic skin disease, inhibits transforming growth factor-Β-induced matrix production. We conducted a non-randomized study comparing 8 patients (five men, three women; median age, 47 years) given topical tranilast with 10 patients (three men, seven women; median age, 37 years) receiving therapy with topical artificial tears, sodium hyaluronate and vitamin A for mild ocular cGVHD. The tranilast group instilled topical tranilast and artificial tears q.i.d., beginning the day of dry eye diagnosis. The ocular surface and tear dynamics of each patient were evaluated before hematopoietic stem cell transplant, at the onset of dry eye and after 3 months of treatment. At 3 months, the scores of the Rose Bengal test and Schirmer test with nasal stimulation had significantly improved in the tranilast group compared with that in the control group (P<0.05). Furthermore, although five control patients (50) developed severe dry eye within the treatment period, only one tranilast-treated patient (12.5) did; the rest still had mild dry eye (P<0.05). These results suggest the hypothesis that topical tranilast may effectively retard the progression of mild dry eye associated with cGVHD.
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