J Stem Cells 2015 ;10(2):127-39
Introduction: Methanol ingestion leads to severe damage to visual pathways and permanent loss of vision. Current treatment is aimed at removal of methanol from system and prevention of generation of toxic metabolites along with symptomatic management of patient. Autologous bone marrow mononuclear stem cells (MNC) can be used to rejuvenate the damaged retinal cells and restoration of vision.
Methods: Five patients suffering from methanol induced complete blindness within three months of insult and no known comorbidities during the past 6 months were enrolled to receive autologous bone marrow derived mononuclear cell fraction on compassionate grounds. The visual acuity and visual evoked responses (VER) were done at the time of enrollment and during follow-up visits.
Observations And Results: Visual acuity of these patients at the time of enrollment: no perception of light. Improvement in visual acuity was recorded by 7 days which reached maximum at 3 weeks after treatment in three patients and three months in two patients. The patients had acuity of 6/9, finger counting and reading with magnifying glasses with no subsequent improvement till 2 years of follow-up. Visual Evoked Responses demonstrated improvements following treatment. No adverse reactions were noticed during follow-up.
Conclusion: Treatment with Autologous Bone marrow derived MNC offers a new line of management in patients with loss of vision following methanol ingestion. The efficacy and safety of this line of management needs to be evaluated in controlled clinical trials.
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