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Mike P. Holzer, Kerry D. Solomon, David T. Vroman, Helga P. Sandoval, Philippe Margaron, Terrance J. Kasper, Craig E. Crosson; Photodynamic Therapy with Verteporfin in a Rabbit Model of Corneal Neovascularization. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(7):2954-2958. doi: 10.1167/iovs.02-0572.
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purpose. To determine the efficacy of photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin (Visudyne; Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland) for treatment of corneal neovascularization in a rabbit eye model.
methods. Corneal neovascularization was induced in Dutch belted rabbits by placing an intrastromal silk suture near the limbus. Verteporfin was administered by intravenous injection at a dose of 1.5 mg/kg, and the pharmacokinetics of verteporfin distribution in the anterior segment or PDT-induced (laser energy levels 17, 50, and 150 J/cm2) regression of corneal blood vessels were then determined. To assess PDT-induced toxicity of the anterior segment, corneal and iris/ciliary body histology, and IOP were evaluated after PDT.
results. Verteporfin accumulation in vascularized regions of the cornea and the iris/ciliary body tissue were time dependent and maximum levels achieved at 60 minutes after injection. In rabbits, PDT of corneal vessels using laser energy of 17 or 50 J/cm2 resulted in 30% to 50% regression of corneal neovascularization; however, in these animals, a rapid regrowth of new blood vessels occurred between 3 and 5 days. In the rabbits receiving PDT using laser energies of 150 J/cm2, the mean vessel regression was 56%. During the nine days of the laser therapy follow-up period, no vessel regrowth was observed in these rabbits. Histologic examination of the anterior segment after PDT (150 J/cm2) showed localized degeneration of the corneal blood vessels without observable change in other anterior segment structures.
conclusions. These results provide evidence that PDT can produce significant regression of neovascular corneal vessels with no observable toxicity to the anterior segments. However, the optimal laser energy necessary to induce long-term regression (150 J/cm2) was three times that used to treat choroidal neovascularization.
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