To investigate the efficacy of topical applied aloe vera (AV) and to facilitate the repair of the standardized alkaline corneal ulcer in normal and diabetic rats.
The corneal alkali-burn injury model was established unilaterally in Wistar rats by filter paper saturated with 0.01 M NaOH contacting the eyes for 45 seconds. Rats were divided into four groups: normal control (NC), normal AV (NAV), diabetic control (DC), and diabetic AV (DAV). NAV and DAV groups were treated with AV gel eye drops four times daily, and NC and DC groups were treated with normal saline for 3 days. Corneal epithelial wound closure and degree of edema were recorded using slit lamp and optical coherence tomography at 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours postwounding. Histological examination was conducted to evaluate the degree of inflammation and the healing effect.
Corneal epithelial wound healing was better in the NAV group than in the NC group, and it was significantly higher in the DAV group than in the DC group (P<0.05). In comparison to the DC group, DAV treated with AV demonstrated a marked reduction in edema at 48 and 72 hours. Histologically, corneal re-epithelialization was complete and higher in DAV group than that in DC group; moreover, the inflammatory cells were increased in DC group than DAV group (P<0.05).
This study demonstrated the efficacy of AV for enhanced corneal re-epithelialization, as well as reduced inflammatory response after alkali burn in rats; therefore, it could be useful as a therapy for diabetic keratopathy.