Graft Versus Host Disease

GVHD is a consequence of donor immune cells attacking the recipient following bone marrow or stem cell transplant. Sixty percent of GVHD patients have ocular involvement resulting in severe dry eye. Patients who have ocular GVHD have debilitating dryness that is refractory to aggressive therapy. Bandage contact lenses offer protection for the compromised ocular surface. Scleral lenses are often utilized for managing ocular GVHD. The fluid reservoir that scleral lenses hold helps to continuously bathe the anterior ocular surface, acting like a liquid band aid. A 2008 paper by Schornack et al. reported on a retrospective case series of five patients (10 eyes) who had ocular GVHD and experienced subjective improvements in comfort with scleral lenses after conventional therapy had failed.