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February 1990

Retinal Toxicity of Recombinant Tissue Plasminogen Activator in the Rabbit

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami (Fla) School of Medicine. Dr R. Johnson is now in private practice in San Francisco, Calif.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(2):259-263. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070040111042

• We studied the dose-dependent retinal toxicity of the available commercial preparation of human recombinant tissue plasminogen activator in the normal rabbit eye. Tissue plasminogen activator was injected into the midvitreous cavity of albino rabbits in doses (per 100 μL) of 25, 50, 75, and 100 μg. Control eyes received 100 μL of balanced salt solution or tissue plasminogen activator vehicle. No evidence of a retinal toxic reaction was seen in eyes receiving 25 μg of tissue plasminogen activator. One of four eyes injected with 50 μg showed loss of photoreceptor cells by light microscopy. Severe retinal damage was seen by ophthalmoscopy, electroretinography, and light microscopy in three of four eyes receiving 75 μg of tissue plasminogen activator and in all eyes treated with 100 μg of tissue plasminogen activator or equivalent vehicle. These results suggest that the commercial recombinant tissue plasminogen activator formulation has a narrow margin of safety in nonvitrectomized eyes and that a component of the vehicle is the toxic factor.

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