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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2004 Nov;242(11):931-6. Epub 2004 Jul 17.

The effect of specific gravity of perfluorocarbon liquid on the retina after experimental vitreous substitution.

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Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Retinology and Biomicroscopic Laser Surgery, Department of Ophthalmology, Krankenanstalt Rudolfstiftung, Juchgasse 25, 1030, Vienna, Austria.



To evaluate the histological changes in the retina after experimental vitreous substitution with various amounts of perfluorophenanthrene (PFPH).


Thirty-two rabbit eyes were mechanically vitrectomized and filled up with 0.8 cc or 0.2 cc highly purified PFPH. The substance remained for 1 week (4 eyes), 2 weeks (8 eyes), 4 weeks (10 eyes) or 8 weeks (10 eyes). Eight eyes underwent the same surgical procedure without PFPH exchange to serve as a control group. A histological comparison of corresponding areas in the center and in the periphery of the inferior retina ensued.


After 2 weeks, nuclear drop-downs and irregularities of the outer plexiform layer and of both nuclear layers were observed centrally in the eyes with a 0.8 cc substitution. The changes proceeded to irregularities and cell loss of all retinal layers with focal areas of complete destruction of the retinal architecture after 8 weeks. In contrast, single nuclear drop-downs, wrinkling of the outer nuclear layer and cell loss in the photoreceptor layer were observed in the peripheral retina at the end of the observation period. In those eyes where 0.2 cc PFPH was exchanged nuclear drop-downs were found after 2 weeks, leading to focal thinning of the outer plexiform layer and irregularities of the outer nuclear layer after 4 weeks with an insignificant increase after 8 weeks. At this time these histological alterations were comparable with those that we observed after 2 weeks in the eyes with a 0.8 cc tamponade in a corresponding area.


Even high purification of PFPH does not prevent retinal damage. The different results in different areas after vitreous substitution with 0.2 cc and with 0.8 cc demonstrate that the high specific gravity of the substance may also play a role in the development of histological changes after extended tamponade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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