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Ophthalmic Surg. 1995 Mar-Apr;26(2):142-4.

The ocular effects of intralenticular iron foreign bodies in rabbits.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 27599-7040, USA.


Optimal treatment of intralenticular metallic foreign-body injuries remains controversial, especially in patients with clear lenses and good vision. Using 20 rabbit eyes, we examined the cataractogenic potential of intralenticular iron and its effects on the retina. Iron wire implanted into the lenses of 12 rabbit eyes caused cataracts in every eye within 4 weeks. However, after 4 1/2 weeks, none of these eyes showed evidence of retinal siderosis. No cataracts developed in five eyes with intralenticular glass, while three with intravitreal iron showed marked retinal toxicity. These results suggest that as long as the lenses remain clear, conservative management of these injuries carries minimal risk of permanent retinal damage.

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