To evaluate the effects of a subconjunctival injection of low-molecular-weight heparin–taurocholate 7 (LHT7) on corneal neovascularization (CoNV) in rats.
Twenty-four Sprague–Dawley rats were divided into 4 groups of 6 animals each. Corneal centers were cauterized by the application of a silver/potassium nitrate solution for 8 seconds. Either 0.02 or 0.04 mL of 25 mg/mL of LHT7 (low- and high-LHT7 groups, respectively) was subconjunctivally injected on days 2 and 4 after the cauterization was done; 0.02 mL of 25 mg/mL of bevacizumab was injected into rats in the positive control group, with normal saline (NS) being administered to a negative control group. Digital photographs of the cornea were taken 1 and 2 weeks later to calculate the percentage of CoNV using the area of the neovascularized cornea. To compare the differences in CoNV between weeks 1 and 2, the change in CoNV was calculated by subtracting the percentage of CoNV at 1 week from that at 2 weeks.
The percentage of CoNV did not differ among the 4 groups either 1 or 2 weeks after the cauterization (P > 0.05). In all groups except the NS group, the percentage of CoNV significantly decreased at 2 weeks compared with that at 1 week (all P < 0.05). Moreover, the changes of CoNV in the high-LHT7 and bevacizumab groups significantly decreased compared with that in the NS group (all P < 0.05). Two corneal stromal hemorrhages occurred, 1 in each LHT7 group.
Despite complications, including corneal stromal hemorrhage, subconjunctival injection of LHT7 attenuated CoNV after chemical cauterization.