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December 1977

Rabbit Endothelial Response to Ophthalmic Preservatives

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology (Drs Green and Hull, Mss Vaughn and Bowman, and Mr Malizia) and Physiology (Dr Green), Medical College of Georgia, Augusta.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1977;95(12):2218-2221. doi:10.1001/archopht.1977.04450120124018

• The endothelial surface of isolated rabbit corneas were perfused for three hours with varying concentrations of benzalkonium chloride and cetylpyridinium chloride. The threshold for physiological and ultrastructural alteration of corneal endothelium is approximately 0.0001% for benzalkonium chloride and 0.01 mM for cetylpyridinium chloride. The effects of the surfactants can be induced with as little as a 15-minute exposure without subsequent recovery. Use of ophthalmic medications or irrigating solu tions containing these agents inside the eye is potentially hazardous to the corneal endothelium.

Topical administration of 0.133% benzalkonium chloride to the anterior surface of deepithelialized in vivo corneas (five doses, seven minutes apart) caused no alterations of corneal endothelial cell function or ultrastructure.

(Arch Ophthalmol 95:2218-2221, 1977)