February 1971
Volume 10, Issue 2
Articles  |   February 1971
Anterior Segment Chemical Sympathectomy by 6-Hydroxy-Dopamine
Author Affiliations
    Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La.
    Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, La.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science February 1971, Vol.10, 120-143. doi:
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      MONTE G. HOLLAND, JAMES L. MINIS; Anterior Segment Chemical Sympathectomy by 6-Hydroxy-Dopamine . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1971;10(2):120-143.

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

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Histofluorometric techniques have confirmed that topical ocular application of 6-hydroxydopamine, a norepinephrine congener, causes a selective and reversible destruction of sympathetic nerve terminals in the anterior segment. An investigation of the effects of "chemical sympathectomy" on the pupil, intraocular pressure, and facility of outflow showed: the pupil underwent a sequence of changes characteristic of surgical sympathetic denervation, but with a different time course; the intraocular pressure .was significantly lowered, transiently in rabbits and of longer duration in monkeys; the facility of outflow was transiently increased in monkeys and probably in rabbits; the episcleral venous pressure was unchanged in both species. It was concluded that the lowered intraocular pressure and lowered outflow pressure were the result of a reduction of aqueous inflow. There was no unequivocal experimental demonstration of supersensitization to topical norepinephrine or isoproterenol following chemical sympathetic denervation; however, the experiments were not conclusive on this important point. It was concluded that chemical sympathectomy with 6-hydroxy-dopamine reproduces many of the ocular phenomena of surgical sympathectomy. 6-Hydroxy-dopamine is a useful drug for experimental ophthalmology, and may be useful clinically.


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