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C. Zetterstrom, K. Shafiei, M. Kugelberg; Treatment With Topical Dexamethasone Inhibits Growth in the Three-Week-Old Rabbit . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):205.
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Purpose: To investigate if treatment with dexamethasone eye-drops inhibits growth in the newborn rabbit. Methods: Clear lens extraction was performed in 34 three-week-old rabbits in one randomly selected eye. The rabbits were divided into three groups that received different treatments. All rabbits received 10 µl eye-drops with a pipette 10 times a day for two weeks, 8 times a day for two weeks, 6 times a day for two weeks and 4 times a day for two weeks. Thirteen rabbits (intensive treatment group) were given intensive treatment with topical dexamethasone (Isopto-Maxidex 1 mg/ml) at every occasion, eleven rabbits (middle group) received dexamethasone every other time and placebo every other time, and ten rabbits (placebo group) got placebo at every occasion. The rabbits were followed each week with measurements of weight and crown-rump length. At end-point the left femur was extracted and analysed. The results were analysed with ANOVA and Bonferroni's correction for individual comparisons. Results: The intensive treatment group gained significantly less weight than the middle group (p<0.01) and the middle group gained significantly less weight than the placebo group (p<0.001). The same was true for the crown-rump length and also for the femur length at end-point. The intensive treatment group had significantly less crown-rump length and femur length than the middle group (p<0.001) and the middle group had significantly less crown-rump length and femur length than the placebo group (p<0.001). Also, the body mass index (BMI) increased faster in the intensive treatment group, giving them Cushingoid features. Conclusions: Topically applied cortisone significantly inhibits growth in newborn rabbit, and gives them Cushingoid features, which indicates that dexamethasone eye-drops are absorbed in the blood.
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