AIMS Hypothermic irrigating solutions were used during vitrectomy in pressure induced ischaemic eyes so that their effects on retinal function and histological changes could be investigated.
METHODS After anaesthetised albino rabbits underwent closed vitrectomy, their vitreous cavities were continuously irrigated for 30 minutes at a perfusion pressure of 140 mm Hg. The rabbits were divided into three groups according to their intraocular perfusion temperatures—8°C, 22°C, and 38°C. Electroretinograms were taken before and after irrigation. Glutamate levels in the vitreous were examined after irrigation. Eyes were enucleated on the seventh postoperative day and examined histologically.
RESULTS On the seventh postoperative day, the recovery rate of a-wave amplitudes was significantly lower in the 38°C group than in the 8°C group, and that of b-wave amplitudes was significantly lower in the 38°C group than in either the 8°C or 22°C group. Retinal damage in the 38°C group revealed more severe histological impairment than in either the 8°C or 22°C group. Oedema of the inner retinal layer was significant in both the 22°C and 38°C groups. Glutamates reached peak values 30 minutes after the end of ischaemia in the 38°C group. However, no significant glutamate increases were detected 15 to 60 minutes after ischaemia in either the 8°C or 22°C group.
CONCLUSION Local hypothermia during vitrectomy in acute ischaemic eyes appears to decrease retinal damage.
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