Plasma Rich in Growth Factor Drops Benefit Patients With Compromised Tear Film

Woman using eye drops, close-up
The high lipid content of plasma rich in growth factor eye drops is instrumental in preventing tear film evaporation, a study suggests.

Despite its differences in lipid composition from tear lipodome, plasma rich in growth factor (PRGF) eye drops may be a viable supplement for patients with impaired tear lipid composition, according to a study published in Experimental Eye Research. 

Researchers performed an analysis to compare the lipidomic profile of PRGF drops with tear samples to determine whether PRGF eye drops could serve as a tear supplement for patients with an impaired tear film lipid layer (TFLL). They enrolled 10 healthy individuals (mean age 38.06±6.21 years, 60% women) in the study and performed clinical eye exams consisting of Schirmer 1 test, slit lamp evaluation of the lid margin and meibomian glands, fluorescein staining assessment, and tear break up time (TBUT) measurements. The team also obtained blood samples from all participants. 

The investigators performed electrospray ionization (ESI) to identify lipids present in both the PRGF drops and tear samples. Overall, they identified 408 lipids in ESI+ mode and 183 in ESI- mode for the PRGF drops, which they categorized into 15 different lipid classes encompassing 4 distinct categories. They identified 112 and 36 lipid species in ESI+ and ESI- modes, respectively, in the tear samples, representing 12 lipid classes and 6 distinct categories. 

The report shows that PRGF drops contain more lipids than human tears. There were, however, some lipids present in tears that were not observed in the PRGF drops including wax esters and (O-acyl)-ω-hydroxy fatty acids.

Researchers assert that the lipid profile of PRGF drops demonstrates its usefulness as an adequate tear film supplement that is instrumental in preventing tear film evaporation. “The high lipid content of PRGF eye drops suggests it might be suitable to treat [hyperevaporative dry eye], a condition in which the lipid composition of the [tear film] appears to be altered and in which the contribution of specific lipids like [cholesterol esters] is likely to be beneficial,” according to the investigators.

Study limitations include a small sample size and single center design. 


Acera A, Abad B, Pereiro X, et al. Comparative study of the lipid profile of tears and plasma enriched in growth factors. Exp Eye Res. Published online April 4, 2022. doi:10.1016/j.exer.2022.109061.