Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Inhibition of experimental diabetic cataract by topical administration of RS-verapamil hydrochloride
  1. A Ettl1,2,
  2. A Daxer1,3,
  3. W Göttinger1,
  4. E Schmid1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
  2. 2Department of Neuro-Ophthalmology, Oculoplastic and Orbital Surgery, Central Hospital, Pölten, Austria
  3. 3Eye Center, Linz, Austria
  1. Correspondence to: Armin Ettl, MD, PhD Neuro-Ophthalmology, Zentraltrankenhaus Postfach 176, A-3100 St Pölten, Austria;


Aim: To investigate the efficacy of verapamil eye drops for inhibition of diabetic cataract in rats.

Methods: Diabetes was induced in 69 male Sprague-Dawley rats by an intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg body weight). One group (DV) of animals was treated by instillation of one drop of 0.2% RS-verapamil hydrochloride in both eyes three times daily for 8 weeks. The placebo treated group (D) received the vehicle solution only. After 8 weeks the lenses were removed, inspected, and photographed using bright and dark field illumination. The transmission of He-Ne laser light was measured in the optical axis of each lens in order to determine the turbidity coefficient (t) as a measure of central lens opacity. Following digital image analysis, the integrated density as a measure of central and mid-peripheral opacities was determined.

Results: Lenses of both groups developed peripheral cortical opacities not affecting the optical axis. Advanced and paracentral cortical opacities were present in 10 (16.7%) of the placebo treated lenses (D) and two (3.8%) of the verapamil treated lenses (DV). Complete corticonuclear cataract developed in four (6.7%) of the lenses from group D but none of the lenses from group DV. The mean lens turbidity t was determined to be 0.019 (SEM 0.002) mm−1 (n  =  52) in the verapamil treated diabetic rats (DV) and 0.042 (0.008) mm−1 (n  =  60) in the placebo treated group (D). This difference was statistically significant (p  =  0.0054). The mean integrated density was 274.91 (22.5) in group D (n  =  60) and 196.28 (20.7) in group DV (n  =  37). This difference was also significant (p  =  0.0037).

Conclusion: Verapamil eye drops 0.2% administered three times daily are effective in inhibiting the progression of lens opacities in streptozotocin diabetic rats.

  • verapamil
  • cataract
  • diabetes

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Preliminary results of this study were presented at the annual meetings of the AER in Granada in 1993 and the ARVO in Fort Lauderdale in 1995.