AIMS/BACKGROUND: Posterior capsular opacification is the most common postoperative complication of extracapsular cataract surgery. The purpose of this study was to attempt to inhibit this secondary cataract formation by using mitomycin (an antimitotic drug). METHODS: A solution containing mitomycin was used to perform hydrodissection (with a 5 minute pause) during extracapsular lens extraction in rabbits. This way of administration was chosen to reduce as much as possible drug diffusion into the anterior chamber. Heparin was added to the irrigating solution to avoid fibrin formation. Its ability to prevent posterior cataract opacification was also evaluated at the end of the study. The animals were sacrificed 4 or 6 months after surgery. Grading concerning two aspects of secondary cataract (proliferation and fibrosis) was obtained on gross examination. Histological analysis was subsequently performed. RESULTS: This study demonstrated that mitomycin has a significant inhibitory effect on secondary cataract formation (proliferation as well as fibrosis) in rabbits whereas heparin does not seem to have the same effectiveness. CONCLUSION: This work is a preliminary study concerning the use of mitomycin for prevention of posterior capsular opacification. It has proved its effectiveness in rabbits but more in depth studies are still necessary before its application in humans.
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