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August 1986

Oral Colchicine for the Treatment of Experimental Traction Retinal Detachment

Author Affiliations

From The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute, Center for Vitreoretinal Research, The Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986;104(8):1226-1229. doi:10.1001/archopht.1986.01050200132067

• In proliferative vitreoretinopathy and trauma, long-term reattachment of the retina is often prevented by the formation of contractile cellular membranes on the retinal surface and within the vitreous cavity. Colchicine, a well-documented inhibitor of microtubule assembly, is a potent inhibitor of retinal pigment epithelium cell, astrocyte, and fibroblast proliferation and migration. To study the therapeutic value of orally administered colchicine, we used an experimental animal model in which intravitreally injected platelet-derived growth factor and fibronectin produced traction retinal detachments in rabbits. With oral administration of colchicine, we were able to decrease the incidence and severity of traction retinal detachment from 74% in controls (20 of 27 eyes) to 29.6% in the treated animals (eight of 27 eyes) at five weeks (P <.0009). These results, and the apparent lack of retinal and systemic toxicity, suggest that oral therapy with colchicine may prove to be of value in the treatment of human disease.