Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of subconjunctival injection of triamcinolone in the treatment of acute ocular alkali burn in rabbits.
Methods: Two groups of 5 rabbits were subjected to alkali burn (1 N NaOH). One group was treated with 1 subconjunctival injection of 0.3 mL of triamcinolone and the other with 1 subconjunctival injection of 0.3 mL of 0.9% saline. The affected corneas were observed for vascularization and opacity approximately 10 minutes after the burn and also after 7, 14, and 21 days. Photographs were taken for observation and statistical analyses. At all time intervals, the corneas were classified according to predetermined scores. Twenty-one days after the treatment, the animals were anesthetized, and their eyes were enucleated and processed for histopathology.
Results: Greater vascularization and opacity appeared in the animals that were treated with saline than in those treated with subconjunctival triamcinolone (vascularization: 7 days, P = 0.0107; 14 days, P = 0.0099; and 21 days, P = 0.0088; opacity: 7 days, P = 0.0079; 14 days, P = 0.0112; and 21 days, P = 0.0255). These results were also compatible with the morphological and statistical analyses, which revealed a more intense inflammatory process in the group treated with saline (P = 0.0317). No complications, such as corneal melting, perforation, or infection, were observed.
Conclusions: Subconjunctival injection of triamcinolone may be a therapeutic option for the treatment of acute ocular burn because it reduced the corneal inflammatory process, opacity, and vascularization, with no apparent clinical changes in the general state of the animal.