Autologous Blood Products: When, Where, and How?

Arianna A. Tovar, Alfonso L. Sabater

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: In this article, we review the latest clinical outcomes of the treatment of ocular surface diseases with autologous blood products. Recent Findings: Besides their well-known use in the treatment of severe dry eye disease, these products have recently been successfully used in the management of other conditions such as post-crosslinking surgery in patients with keratoconus. Also, new and easier-to-preserve presentations of these products are discussed. Summary: Autologous blood eye drops have become an interesting, well-known, and widely used therapeutic option for many ocular surface diseases since their introduction into the ophthalmologic field 46 years ago. The foundation for their use in the treatment of pathologies, such as severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca, persistent epithelial defects, ocular chemical burns, recurrent epithelial erosions, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, ocular graft versus host disease, and, lately, in many other ocular surface conditions, relies on the fact that they contain proteins, vitamins, cytokines, and growth factors that participate in the signaling pathways of corneal epithelial healing in similar amounts to those found in normal, healthy tear films. These molecules confer on them a huge advantage over conventional artificial tears that can only lubricate the eyes but lack epitheliotropic properties. Despite some reported controversy regarding their composition and safety, the versatility of autologous blood eye drops in terms of source and final products and their proven efficacy in the treatment of ocular surface diseases resistant to conventional therapy have slowly but steadily granted them recognition and acceptance in the modern clinical ophthalmologic practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-56
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Ophthalmology Reports
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Autologous serum
  • Blood-derived products
  • Ocular surface diseases
  • Ophthalmology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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