Purpose: To determine the efficacy of the topical application of ascorbic acid for the treatment of corneal neovascularization.
Methods: Corneal neovascularization was induced in 16 rabbits with a silk suture in the corneal stroma (32 eyes). At 1 week after suturing, 15 rabbits were divided into 3 groups and were treated with topical ascorbic acid at 3 different concentrations: 10 mg/mL (group 1), 1 mg/mL (group 2), and 0.5 mg/mL (group 3). All treatments were added in the right eye twice a day. All left eyes (15 eyes) and both eyes of the 16th rabbit were used as experimental controls and a normal control, respectively. The area of corneal neovascularization was measured using light microscopy. The concentrations of vascular endothelial growth factor and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in the corneal tissue were measured.
Results: The neovascularized area was decreased in the treated groups compared with the control group. There was a significant difference in the neovascularized areas between the control and groups 1 and 2. No significant difference was observed between the control and group 3. The concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor was significantly lower in the treated groups than in the control group, but there was no difference between the treated groups. The concentration of matrix metalloproteinase-9 showed a significant difference between the control and treated groups, but no difference between the treated groups.
Conclusions: Topical administration of ascorbic acid may be useful for the treatment of corneal neovascularization.