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F. M. Damico, L. H. Young; Retinal Toxicity of Intravitreal Acyclovir: A Morphologic Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):5625. doi: https://doi.org/.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine the morphologic effects of intravitreal acyclovir on the rabbit retina and the maximum non-toxic dose to the retina.
Acyclovir (Acyclovir®, Bedford Laboratories, Bedford, OH) was injected in the vitreous of 51 Dutch Belted rabbits in five concentrations (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, and 10 mg/0.1 ml). As control, the contralateral eye of each rabbit was injected with saline. Animals were periodically examined and photographed. They were sacrificed at different time points (1, 7, and 14 days, and 1 month) and inferior retina was analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy.
Eyes injected with 10 mg of acyclovir showed complete destruction of external and internal photoreceptor segments, and disorganization of photoreceptors. Eyes injected with 5 mg of acyclovir showed outer segment disorganization. Eyes injected with 1 mg or less did not show any morphologic change on light microscopy, similar to eyes injected with saline. Two eyes, injected with 1 and 0.5 mg, were processed for electron microscopy and did not show any morphologic change.
Intravitreal injections of 5 and 10 mg of acyclovir produce morphologic changes in rabbit retina, while injections of 1 mg or less seem to be safe. These data suggest that intravitreal injection of acyclovir is a potential treatment for the devasting herpetic retinitis. However more studies should be carried before it is used in clinical practice.
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