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Use of Rho kinase Inhibitors in Ophthalmology: A Review of the Literature

Majid Moshirfar, Lawsen Parker, Orry C. Birdsong, Yasmyne C. Ronquillo, Daniel Hofstedt, Tirth J. Shah, Aaron T. Gomez, Phillip C Hoopes, Sr


The use of Rho Kinase (ROCK) inhibitors as therapeutic agents in ophthalmology has been a topic of discussion for several years, particularly in the realm of glaucoma, Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy, and diabetic retinopathy. In this review, the authors provide a detailed and comprehensive overview of the published literature on the use of Rho kinase inhibitors for the aforementioned purposes. A thorough search of several databases was conducted to find sufficient literature on ROCK inhibitors. This research found strong evidence demonstrating that inhibition of Rho kinase significantly decreases IOP, increases healing of the corneal endothelium, and decreases progression of diabetic retinopathy. The main side effect of ROCK inhibitors is conjunctival hyperemia that is often present in more than half of the patients in certain formulations. Additional clinical trials investigating the reviewed treatment options of Rho kinase inhibitors are necessary to further validate previous findings on the topic. Nonetheless, it is clear that Rho kinase inhibitors have the potential to be another potent therapeutic option for several chronic diseases in ophthalmology.


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