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February 1987

Systemic Tetracycline Treatment of Alkali-Induced Corneal Ulceration in Rabbits

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York (Drs Seedor, Perry, Buxton, and Guthrie), and the Department of Oral Biology and Pathology, School of Dental Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Drs McNamara and Golub).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(2):268-271. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060020122043

• Recent evidence has demonstrated a marked anticollagenolytic effect for the tetracycline antibiotics. We have examined the efficacy of systemic tetracycline hydrochloride in a rabbit model of corneal ulceration. A standard alkali burn (1N sodium hydroxide for 40 s) was delivered to 62 eyes (31 rabbits). Animals were then divided into three groups: group 1 (controls) (ten rabbits [20 eyes]) received no treatment; group 2 (ten rabbits [20 eyes]) received 10 mg/kg/d of tetracycline hydrochloride, given intramuscularly; and group 3 (11 rabbits [22 eyes]) received 50 mg/kg/d. Ulceration occurred in 85% (17/20) of control eyes. The higher dosage of tetracycline was more effective in preventing ulceration than the lower dosage (9.1% vs 55%). Eyes with higher levels of tetracycline in ocular tissues were less likely to ulcerate.

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