Fluorometholone 0.1% as Ancillary Therapy for Trachomatous Trichiasis Surgery: Randomized Clinical Trial


Kempen JH, Tekle-Haimanot R, Hunduma L, Alemayehu M, Pistilli M, Abashawl A, Lawrence SD, Alemayehu W. Fluorometholone 0.1% as Ancillary Therapy for Trachomatous Trichiasis Surgery: Randomized Clinical Trial. Am J Ophthalmol 2019;197:145-155.

Date Published:

2019 Jan


PURPOSE: To assess the hypothesis that fluorometholone 0.1% eye drops are safe and effective as adjunctive therapy for trachomatous trichiasis (TT) surgery; determining the most promising dose. DESIGN: Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-masked parallel dose-ranging clinical trial. METHODS: Patients undergoing upper lid TT surgery at a rural Ethiopian hospital were randomized to fluorometholone 0.1% twice daily for 4 weeks, 4 times daily for 4 weeks, 4 times daily for 8 weeks, or matching frequency placebo in a 3:1:3:1:3:1 ratio for 1 eye. Randomization was stratified by TT severity (1-4 vs ≥5 lashes touching the globe). Safety outcomes (intraocular pressure [IOP] elevation, cataract, and other dose-limiting toxicities) and postoperative TT incidence were assessed over 1 year. RESULTS: Subjects randomized were 39:13:39:13:38:13 in the respective groups, and 1 subject in the 8-weeks fluorometholone group was withdrawn. Of 154 subjects, 148 (96.1%) completed 1 year's follow-up. Among 76 eyes receiving fluorometholone 4 times daily, 1 developed IOP elevation ≥ 30 mm Hg (to 37 mm Hg) and 1 had an allergic reaction attributed to the study drug; each resolved upon drug cessation without sequelae. No cataract or other dose-limiting toxicity events occurred. Postoperative TT within 1 year occurred in 29.3% of placebo eyes vs 17.7%, 19.6%, and 23.2% among the respective fluorometholone groups (P = .29 comparing placebo vs all active treatments combined). CONCLUSIONS: The results suggest fluorometholone 0.1% is likely to be safe and efficacious to reduce postoperative TT following TT surgery, and 1 drop twice daily for 4 weeks is the most promising dose. Confirmation in a full-scale clinical trial is needed before programmatic implementation.

Last updated on 01/31/2019