June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Can Meaningful Pharmacological Dilation of Pupils Occur After Death?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jeffrey Golen
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Timothy Saunders
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Nicholas Sprehe
    Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Tampa, FL
  • Patrick Gore
    Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research, Tampa, FL
  • Sharad Malavade
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Peter Pavan
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Curtis Margo
    Department of Ophthalmology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jeffrey Golen, None; Timothy Saunders, None; Nicholas Sprehe, None; Patrick Gore, None; Sharad Malavade, None; Peter Pavan, None; Curtis Margo, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 2319. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Jeffrey Golen, Timothy Saunders, Nicholas Sprehe, Patrick Gore, Sharad Malavade, Peter Pavan, Curtis Margo, Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research; Can Meaningful Pharmacological Dilation of Pupils Occur After Death?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):2319.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract
 
Purpose
 

To explore the effectiveness of topical mydriatic agents on pupil dilation on eyes obtained postmortem.

 
Methods
 

A review of pre-death records is conducted to include demographics, medical history, ocular history and medications if available. Eyes obtained after death are inspected for iris color and signs of abnormalities. Exclusion criteria include history of surgical iris, prior history of iris trauma, iris melanoma, iritis, or iridoschisis. The status of the lens is recorded. After a baseline pupil diameter measurement, two drops of a solution of 10% phelylephrine and 1% tropicamide is placed on the surface of the cornea. The set of drops is repeated twice, 3 minutes apart. Pupils are then measured 20 and 60 minutes later with a millimeter ruler and recorded on a digital camera for post-hoc analysis.

 
Results
 

Effective pupillary dilation was achieved up to 19 hours after death (Figures 1a, 1b). Pupil dilation up to 2.9mm was measured and occurred in a heterogeneous group of unfixed tissue bank eyes. The results are seen across a range of iris colors. The results were also seen in eyes both pre and post tissue procurement.

 
Conclusions
 

Pharmacological dilation of pupils is possible after death in fresh eyes harvested through eye banks. Knowledge of this phenomenon and characteristics associated with a favorable response is useful for screening postmortem eyes for specific research interests. Further research is needed to find out which combination of medications is the most effective for this purpose.

 
 
Figure 1a: Pre-dilation photograph of a globe explanted 19 hours after time of death
 
Figure 1a: Pre-dilation photograph of a globe explanted 19 hours after time of death
 
 
Figure 1b: 60 minutes post-dilation in the same eye
 
Figure 1b: 60 minutes post-dilation in the same eye
 
Keywords: 551 imaging/image analysis: non-clinical • 549 image processing • 461 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: natural history  
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