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November 1974

Studies on Intraocular Copper Foreign Bodies: Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometry

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Surgery, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1974;92(5):431-436. doi:10.1001/archopht.1974.01010010443015

Atomic absorption spectrophotometry has been evaluated as a method of determining the copper concentration of the aqueous and vitreous. The normal copper concentration of the rabbit aqueous and vitreous, as determined by this technique, is 0.205 ± 0.009μg/ml and 0.112 ± 0.019μg/ml, respectively. Aqueous analyses performed on eyes that harbored an intravitreal copper foreign body yielded elevated copper levels in 8% when an intravitreal copper foreign body had been present less than one month and in 33% when the foreign body had been present between 2 and 16 months. Those factors associated with an increased yield of elevated aqueous copper concentrations were (1) duration of the copper foreign body in the vitreous and (2) evidence of corrosion in the surface of the copper foreign body. The copper composition of the foreign body in the range studied did not influence the yield of positive taps.

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