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Rita Mencucci, Iacopo Paladini, Eleonora Favuzza, Tania Scartabelli, Ugo Menchini, Domenico Pellegrini Giampietro; Azithromycin: Intrinsic Cytotoxic Effects On Corneal Epithelial Cell Cultures. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):1499.
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To compare the cytotoxic effects of preservative free azithromycin versus preservative free netilmycin and levofloxacin upon corneal epithelial cells in vitro.
Corneal epithelial cells in vitro were incubated for 15 min and 6 hours with preservative free netilmycin or levofloxacin and different concentrations of unpreserved azithromycin. Qualitative analysis was performed by using phase contrast optics and examining the morphological aspects of cell cultures. Quantitative analysis was performed by measuring the release of cytoplasmic enzyme lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) into the medium immediately and 24 h after exposure to drugs. We also observed the wound healing rate of mechanically injured corneal epithelial cells cultured in each antibiotic preparation for 24 and 48 hours.
The unpreserved preparation of azithromycin up to a concentration of 1.5% showed a low cell toxicity, not significantly different from the other antibiotic preparations (p>0.05). Azithromycin did not inhibit the wound healing process after the mechanical injury.
Under our experimental conditions, unpreserved azithromycin 1.5 % showed a low cytotoxicity and did not interphere with the wound healing process.
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