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Intraocular Dexamethasone Delivery System for Corneal Transplantation in an Animal Model

Kagaya, Fumie M.D.; Usui, Tomohiko M.D.; Kamiya, Kazutaka M.D.; Ishii, Yasuo Ph.D.; Tanaka, Sumiyoshi M.D.; Amano, Shiro M.D.; Oshika, Tetsuro M.D.

Basic Investigations

Purpose. To assess the efficacy of a new intraocular biodegradable polymer dexamethasone drug delivery system (DEX DDS) in a high-risk corneal transplantation model.

Methods. Lewis rats that received orthotopic corneal transplants (Balb/c mice donors) were divided into three groups (six rats in each); group 1 received no treatment and served as controls, group 2 was treated with 0.1% betamethasone eyedrops three times daily for 6 weeks, and group 3 received DEX DDS in the anterior chamber at the time of transplantation.

Results. All grafts in the untreated control group were rejected within 8 days. In the betamethasone eyedrop group, five eyes (83%) were rejected during the 8-week study period. None of the grafts in the DEX DDS group was rejected. The administration of DEX DDS significantly prolonged the survival rate of the corneal grafts (p < 0.001, log-rank test).

Conclusion. DEX DDS is effective in suppressing graft rejection in high-risk corneal transplantation.

From the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, Tokyo (F.K., T.U., K.K., S.A., T.O.); Division of Ophthalmology, Shinkawabashi General Hospital, Kanagawa (Y.I.); and the Department of Ophthalmology, Teikyo University Ichihara Hospital, Chiba (S.T.), Japan.

Submitted June 4, 2001.

Revision received November 6, 2001.

Accepted November 20, 2001.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the medications mentioned in this article.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. T. Oshika, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Tokyo School of Medicine, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan. E-mail:

© 2002 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.