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K Nakamura, M F Refojo, D V Crabtree, J Pastor, F L Leong; Ocular toxicity of low-molecular-weight components of silicone and fluorosilicone oils.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1991;32(12):3007-3020.
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Silicone oil (SiO) and fluorosilicone oil (FSiO) are injected into the vitreous cavity in difficult cases of retinal detachment surgery. SiO and FSiO contain linear and cyclic low-molecular-weight components (LMWC) that are thought to cause ocular toxicity. Using the purified oils (without LMWC) and some of the individual LMWC, the authors evaluated the relation of the LMWC to the short-term ocular toxicity of the oils. When octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane or other single small species of linear and cyclic LMWC of SiO were injected into the rabbit anterior chamber, severe inflammation and corneal edema were induced. The ocular responses to the single species of the LMWC of SiO decreased with an increase of the molecular weights. Cyclic LMWC of FSiO (a mixture of trimethyl-3,3,3-trifluoropropylcyclotrisiloxane and tetramethyl-3,3,3-trifluoropropylcyclotetrasiloxane) also induced inflammation and corneal edema. However, unpurified SiO and FSiO, as well as purified oils (via solvent fractionation), did not cause significant adverse ocular response, presumably because the amounts of LMWC (especially the smallest species) in the oils were relatively small. Using gas chromatography, the authors analyzed SiO and FSiO recovered from rabbit and human vitreous cavities up to 2 yr after injection. In most of the cases, the concentrations of LMWC in SiO decreased after injection. This is consistent with the possibility that LMWC diffused from the oils into the ocular tissues. The long-term effect of LMWC in intraocular SiO and FSiO has not been determined. However, diffusion of LMWC into ocular tissues may relate to the chronic ocular toxicity of the oils.
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