The effects of intraocular lidocaine on the corneal endothelium.
OBJECTIVE: The study aimed to evaluate the direct effect of intraocular lidocaine hydrochloride (HCl) 1% on corneal endothelial cell function, ultrastructure, and viability using an in vitro perfusion specular microscope system. DESIGN: Paired rabbit and human corneas were isolated and mounted in an in vitro specular microscope for endothelial perfusion evaluation. Corneas were perfused with a control solution (BSS Plus for humans, glutathione bicarbonate Ringer's [GBR] for rabbits) for a 1-hour stabilization period. After the stabilization period, one cornea of each matched pair was perfused with preservative-free lidocaine HCl 1% for 15 minutes followed by control solution for an additional 2 to 3 hours. The control cornea continued to receive either GBR or BSS Plus. Corneal thickness measurements were taken every 15 minutes throughout the perfusion period. Corneal swelling and deswelling rates were calculated by linear regression analysis. At the end of the experiment, corneas were fixed for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. In another group of corneas, the endothelial viability was assayed after direct perfusion with lidocaine HCl 1%. RESULTS: Lidocaine HCl 1% caused endothelial cell edema, which reversed on removal of lidocaine from perfusion media. Corneal swelling and deswelling rates did not differ significantly between the lidocaine and control groups. Electron microscopy showed the effects of transient endothelial cell edema with an otherwise normal mosaic pattern and ultrastructure for both treatment groups. Endothelial cell viability was maintained after the direct lidocaine exposure and a 2-hour washout. CONCLUSIONS: Lidocaine HCl 1% causes a transient endothelial cell edema to the in vitro perfused endothelium of human and rabbit corneas. Proper attention should be given to the type of lidocaine injected intraocularly (i.e., concentration, vehicle, preservatives, pH, osmolarity). Although lidocaine HCl 1% appears to be safe to both human and rabbit endothelium during short-term in vitro exposure, further in vivo and in vitro studies are needed to determine long-term effects of intraocular lidocaine on the corneal endothelium.
Kim, T; Holley, GP; Lee, JH; Broocker, G; Edelhauser, HF
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