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S. Morales, J. D. Barbosa, L. A. Arana, A. Pinto, M. Humayun, A. Gonzalez, S. Louie; Model of Retinal Neovascularization in Rabbits: OCT and FA Examination. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3653.
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Analyze the effect of VEGF intravitreous injections by ocular coherence tomography (OCT) and FA (fluorescein angiography).
One intravitreous injection of VEGF165, the most abundant isoform of VEGF-A, was performed in six rabbits after OCT and FA baseline determinations. Two other rabbits received saline injections (control) and had the same follow up as the VEGF rabbits. Prior to baseline, Electro-Retinograms (ERG) were performed in all animals. The follow up consisted of OCT and FA on day 3; 7; 14; 21 and 28. The animals then underwent ERG, and euthanazation. The tissues were studied histologically in 5 µm thick sections stained with hematoxylin and eosin. This animal study was approved by IACUC of USC.
The FA showed an increase of neovascularization and leakage by day 3; with apices on day 7. By day 14, there was no sign of neovascularization or leakage in the FA findings. The OCT results showed an increase of the diameter of the retinal vessels as well as some protein exudation through leakage.The size of the vessels return to normal diameter by day 14. However, protein exudated during the leakage could be seen up to day 28 by OCT. Edema only occurred in the segment of the eye that had increased in neovascularization (the hyaline portion that extend from the optic nerve to the periphery). Retinal edema followed a trend similar the FA findings: increase by day 3 and reaching the maximal amount by day 7. However, there was no retina edema out of the hyaline portion reported by FA. There were no significant differences in ERG between the two groups. The histology sections near the optic disc showed increased and enlarged vessels in the VEGF group compared to the control.
One VEGF injection creates retinal neovascularization that is present by day 3, reach its maximum effectiveness on day 7 and by day 14 there were no signs of it by FA. However, the OCT findings were seen for up to 28 days. This VEGF study created a retinal neovascularization model as assessed by OCT and FA that can be used for future studies of anti-VEGF drugs in rabbits.
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