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Sarah R. Michalak, Soohyun Kim, Sangwan Park, M. Isabel Casanova, Morgan A. W. Bowman, Michelle Ferneding, Brian C. Leonard, Kathryn L. Good, Jennifer Y. Li, Sara M. Thomasy; Topical Ripasudil for the Treatment of Primary Corneal Endothelial Degeneration in Dogs. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2022;11(9):2. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.11.9.2.
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the tolerability and efficacy of topical rho-kinase inhibitor ripasudil in the treatment of primary corneal endothelial degeneration (PCED) in dogs.
Twenty-one eyes of 12 client-owned, PCED-affected dogs received topical ripasudil 4 times daily. Ophthalmic examination, ultrasonic pachymetry (USP), Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT), and in vivo confocal microscopy were performed at baseline and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Effects of treatment on corneal thickness, corneal edema extent, and endothelial cell density (ECD) were evaluated by repeated-measures ANOVA or Friedman test. Individual eyes were classified as improved, progressed, or stable at 12 months using clinical response criteria. Kaplan-Meier curves and log-rank test were used to compare ripasudil-treated eyes to age-, breed/size-, and disease stage-matched historical controls.
During treatment, 12 dogs developed conjunctival hyperemia, 4 demonstrated reticular bullous epithelial edema, and 2 developed corneal stromal hemorrhage. No adverse event necessitated permanent cessation of ripasudil. Central corneal thickness measured by USP significantly progressed from baseline to 12 months. Corneal thickness by FD-OCT, ECD, and edema extent did not differ over time. Considered individually, 5 eyes improved, 8 remained stable, and 8 progressed. The log-rank test found less edema progression in ripasudil-treated eyes compared to historical controls.
Ripasudil was well-tolerated in PCED-affected dogs. Response to therapy varied; 62% of eyes showed improved or stable disease whereas 38% progressed. Ripasudil-treated eyes progressed more slowly than historical controls.
Topical ripasudil offered a therapeutic benefit in a subset of patients using a canine model of endothelial degeneration, which may guide future trials in humans.
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