Autologous Serum Tears

Autologous serum tears are tears that are made from your own (autologous) blood (serum). It is believed that serum tears promote corneal nerve regeneration in patients with corneal neuropathy, and may improve symptoms of photoalladynia (increased light sensitivity). Serum tears are sometimes prescribed to patients with LASIK-induced Dry Eye.

Several vials of blood are drawn in the morning. It is usually best not to consume any liquids before the blood is drawn to avoid diluting the drawn blood with water. The blood is put through a centrifuge, and the red platelets are removed. The remaining serum is mixed with sterile saline to produce serum tears in varying strengths, e.g.: 25%, 50%.Autologous Serum Tears

Serum tears are typically used up to four times per day, much like artificial lubricating drops. Vials or bottles of serum tears may be frozen, for a time, and defrosted as necessary. It is usually best to defrost them in the refrigerator or by twirling the frozen bottle vigorously between the palms of the hands. Serum tears that are still frozen should not be placed in the eyes. A bottle of serum tears usually lasts for a week or 10 days, and comes with its own eye dropper. Serum tears should be stored in the refrigerator.

Serum tears do not correct conjunctivochalasis, and may increase the bacterial load in the eyes, contributing to conditions such as pink eye. Like other Dry Eye treatments, serum tears are not a cure-all for the many co-morbidities associated with chronic Dry Eye, such as meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).


Autologous serum eye drops for dry eye
Pan Q, Angelina A, Zambrano A, Marrone M, Stark WJ, Heflin T, Tang L, Akpek EK.
The Cochrane database of Systematic Reviews
2013 Aug 27;8:CD009327. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD009327.pub2.
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Autologous Serum Tears for Treatment of Photoallodynia in Patients with Corneal Neuropathy: Efficacy and Evaluation with In Vivo Confocal Microscopy
Aggarwal S, Kheirkhah A, Cavalcanti BM, Cruzat A, Colon C, Brown E, Borsook D, Prüss H, Hamrah P.
The Ocular Surface
2015 Jul;13(3):250-262. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2015.01.005. Epub 2015 Feb 20.
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Long-term use of autologous serum 50% eye drops for the treatment of dry eye disease
Hussain M, Shtein RM, Sugar A, Soong HK, Woodward MA, DeLoss K, Mian SI.
2014 Dec;33(12):1245-51. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000271.
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Comparative role of 20% cord blood serum and 20% autologous serum in dry eye associated with Hansen’s disease: a tear proteomic study
Mukhopadhyay S, Sen S, Datta H.
British Journal of Ophthalmology
2015 Jan;99(1):108-12. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304801. Epub 2014 Aug 19.
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The efficacy of autologous serum eye drops for severe dry eye syndrome: a randomized double-blind crossover study
Celebi AR, Ulusoy C, Mirza GE.
Graefes Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
2014 Apr;252(4):619-26. doi: 10.1007/s00417-014-2599-1. Epub 2014 Feb 25.
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