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Ophthalmic Toxicology

Target Organ and Tissue Toxicity

  1. Bryan Ballantyne MD, DSc, PhD, FRCPath, FFOM, FACOEM, FAACT, FATS, FIBiol, CBiol

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat064

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Ballantyne, B. 2009. Ophthalmic Toxicology. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. Independent Consultant in Occupational and Clinical Toxicology, Charleston, West Virginia, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Ophthalmic toxicology is a specialist area that deals with potentially adverse effects on the eye from chemicals and their metabolites, reaching the eye by local contact and from the systemic circulation, and also covers the effects that may be produced systemically by chemicals that have been absorbed into the circulation following topical contact with the eye. This chapter reviews, with illustrative examples, all these aspects of ophthalmic toxicology, with particular reference to causation, mechanisms of production of lesions, relevant in vivo and in vitro laboratory testing procedures, the significance and clinical relevance of the observed effects. Site-specific lesions and functional disturbances in the eye that are discussed in detail are those to the cornea, iris, ciliary body, aqueous humour production, the lens, retina, optic nerve and extraocular muscles. Systemic effects following topical contamination of the eye are discussed particularly for chemicals and drugs, and discussed in terms of the sites of absorption.


  • cornea;
  • iris;
  • ciliary body;
  • aqueous humour;
  • lens;
  • retina;
  • extraocular muscles;
  • irritation;
  • keratitis;
  • cataract;
  • intraocular pressure;
  • pachymetry;
  • tonometry;
  • in vivo alternatives;
  • in vitro alternatives;
  • cytotoxicity assays;
  • QSAR;
  • transocular systemic toxicity