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S. Lee, S.–W. Choi, S.–H. Jung, M.–J. Seo; A Study of Intraocular Pressure in Rabbit With Intraocular Gas During a Car Travel Over the Mountain . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5258.
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Intraocular gas is a well–accepted and frequently used method of surgical repair for retinal detachments. The safety of retinal detachment patients with residual intraocular gas who must travel by airplane has been concern since anecdotal reports of pain and loss of vision during an ascent. In general, car travel has not been contraindicated for patients with intraocular gas. But there were a few case reports of amaurosis fugax in the patients with intraocular gas developed during a car or train travel. We also have two cases of similar events. Patients with intraocular gas bubble who had retinal detachment surgery, suffered from ocular pain during car travel at 800m above sea level. We suspect that the increase in IOP was ascribed to the expansion of the gas bubble. So we measured the IOP change during cross over the mountain in the rabbit model. We report the results of a study of intraocular gas expansion in rabbit with a large residual intraocular gas bubble during a well–controlled car travel.
We measured the IOP during a car travel by changing the ascent rate. We divided 6 rabbits into two groups. The first group ascended at a rate of 20m/min and the second group ascended at a rate of 8m/min.
The maximum altitude of the mountain was 800 meters above sea level. In the first group, mean intraocular pressure was 29.50 ± 2.43 mmHg at the highest altitude, with a baseline of 11.83 ± 2.14 mmHg. In the second group, mean IOP was 24.50 ± 2.17 mmHg at the highest altitude, with a baseline of 12.33 ± 2.58 mmHg.
Car travel over the mountain might not be well tolerated by patients with intraocular gas, even with a relatively low altitude mountain. IOP elevation is dependent not only altitude but also the ascent rate. It is important to recommend the patients with intraocular gas not to ascend fast.
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