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Can J Ophthalmol. 2004 Aug;39(5):499-505.

Retinal toxicity of intravitreal ganciclovir in rabbit eyes following vitrectomy and insertion of silicone oil.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ont.



Although intravitreal ganciclovir dosages up to 500 microg have been demonstrated to be safe in some studies, other studies have shown toxic retinal effects in rabbit eyes without silicone oil at lower dosages. In current clinical practice, the same dosage of intravitreal antiviral agent is given regardless of whether there has been retinal detachment repair with silicone oil. We performed a study to investigate, in rabbit eyes following vitrectomy and silicone oil insertion, the retinal toxicity of serial intravitreal injections of ganciclovir, using dosages previously found not to produce significant toxic effects in nonvitrectomized eyes.


Twenty-eight eyes of 14 New Zealand pigmented rabbits underwent pars plana vitrectomy and silicone oil insertion. One eye of each animal received an intravitreal ganciclovir injection twice weekly for 2 weeks. The other eye received 0.1 mL of normal saline as a control. Three dosages of ganciclovir (50, 100 or 200 microg/0.1 mL) were used in three groups of three to six animals. Scotopic electroretinography and histologic examination were performed 2 weeks postoperatively.


No differences in scotopic b-wave threshold (p = 0.23, 0.78 and 0.50 for ganciclovir dosages of 50, 100 and 200 microg/0.1 mL respectively, Mann-Whitney U test) or in light microscopy findings were noted between the treatment and control eyes at any dosage of ganciclovir. Surgical complications were observed in eight eyes; the data for these eyes were not used for analysis.


Ganciclovir dosages of up to 200 microg/0.1 mL appear to be safe for serial intravitreal injection in rabbit eyes following vitrectomy and silicone oil insertion.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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