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January 1979

Dextran 40-Containing Incubation Media: Effect on Lens Electrolyte and Water Balance

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chicago, and the Department of Physiology, Rush Medical School, Chicago (Dr Sanders).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(1):156-158. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010090021

• The effect of dextran 40 on lens swelling and electrolyte balance in lenses stressed by incubation in CA+-free media was studied. Dextran 40 substantially inhibited lens swelling, NA gain, and K+ loss caused by six-hour incubation in Ca++-free media. After an additional 12-hour incubation in Ca++-enriched media, the water and electrolyte balance in the dextran 40-incubated group was essentially the same as that of lenses that were never exposed to a Ca++-free media. Those lenses that were not incubated in dextran 40 demonstrated significant residual lens swelling and electrolyte imbalance. It is concluded that dextran 40, by virtue of its oncotic effect, inhibits colloidal osmotic swelling and exerts a protective effect on lens function under a stress situation.

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