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P Wishard, C A Paterson; The effect of ascorbic acid on experimental acid burns of the rabbit cornea.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1980;19(5):564-566.
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The corneas of albino rabbits were subjected to 45 sec, 12 mm, 2.3N hydrochloric acid burns. Of 18 eyes in nine rabbits receiving no treatment (controls), 11 (61%) developed ulceration sometimes progressing to descemetoceles and perforation. Of 17 eyes in nine rabbits receiving a daily subcutaneous injection of ascorbic acid (0.5 gm/kg), only one eye (5.9%) developed an anterior stromal ulcer. The difference in incidence of ulceration between the control and ascorbate-treated eyes was statistically significant (p less than 0.01). The aqueous humor level of ascorbate in untreated animals was 6.0 +/- 0.6 mg/dl compared to 33.0 +/- 2.7 in the treated group. This study therefore demonstrates that subcutaneous administration of ascorbic acid significantly raises the aqueous humor level of ascorbic acid in severely acid-burned eyes, thereby largely preventing the characteristic development of corneal ulceration. The mechanism of this effect is presumably the same as previously described for alkali-burned eyes.
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