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Human corneal stromal tissue concentration after consecutive doses of topically applied 3.3% vancomycin
  1. M Cahane*,
  2. G J Ben Simon*,
  3. I S Barequet,
  4. A Grinbaum,
  5. L Diamanstein-Weiss,
  6. O Goller,
  7. E Rubinstein,
  8. I Avni
  1. Goldschleger Eye Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, Israel
  1. Correspondence to: Dr G J Ben Simon Goldschleger Eye Institute, Sheba Medical Center, Ramat Gan, 52621 Israel;


Aims: To evaluate vancomycin penetration into human corneal stromal tissue in patients treated with topical vancomycin eyedrops before penetrating keratoplasty (PKP).

Methods: Twenty four patients who underwent PKP, seven patients with keratoconus (group 1) and 17 patients with corneal scar or corneal decompensation (group 2). All patients received topical application of vancomycin eyedrops (concentration: 33 mg/ml) 10, 3, 2, 1 hour, and 15 minutes before the operation. Corneal cumulative vancomycin levels were assessed by bioassay.

Results: Mean vancomycin corneal stromal tissue concentration was 46.7 (SE 4.11) µg/g tissue. This value was four to 20-fold in excess of the MIC90 of vancomycin in Staphylococcus aureus (2–10 µg/ml).

Conclusions: Vancomycin reached high corneal tissue concentrations that significantly exceeded the MIC90 (2–10 µg/ml) for most key Gram positive corneal pathogens. The ratio of vancomycin stromal concentration to protein concentration was statistically higher in group 2 (non-keratoconus).

  • bioassay
  • corneal transplantation
  • infections
  • vancomycin

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  • * These authors contributed equally to the work.