PURPOSE: To compare the ocular surfaces of patients treated with rebamipide (REB) ophthalmic suspension or diquafosol (DQS) ophthalmic solution for dry eye syndrome after penetrating keratoplasty (PK). METHODS: A total of 40 eyes of 40 patients who had dry eyes after undergoing PK were enrolled and randomly divided into an REB group and a DQS group. Both REB and DQS groups used each eye drop four times. The tear breakup time (TBUT), corneal fluorescein staining scores, and dry eye-related quality-of-life score (DEQS) were evaluated before treatment, 2 weeks after start of treatment and 4 weeks after start of treatment. RESULTS: We found a significant improvement in TBUT (P < 0.001, Dunnett's test) and fluorescein scores (P < 0.001) 4 weeks after treatment in the REB group. Similar results were obtained in the DQS group (P < 0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively). No significant improvements in DEQS were found 4 weeks after treatment in each group (P = 0.15 and P = 0.63, analysis of variance, respectively). No significant differences were seen in these variables and in the changes between the groups after treatment. CONCLUSIONS: REB and DQS may be effective for the management of dry eye syndrome after PK in terms of ocular surface findings. In our study, effects of REB appear to be equivalent to those of DQS in the patients.