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Evaluation of the effects of hydrodissection with antimitotics using a rabbit model of Soemmering’s ring formation


  • Presented in part at ASCRS Symposium on Cataract, IOL, and Refractive Surgery, Washington, DC, USA, April 2005.

Dr Liliana Werner, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, 50 North Medical Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84132, USA. Email:


Background:  Regeneration/proliferation of lens material within the capsular bag still is the most frequent complication after cataract surgery. We aimed to evaluate the effects of hydrodissection with low doses of antimitotics on the overall regeneration/proliferation of lens material in rabbit eyes, using a model allowing the lens material to be confined to the equatorial region of the capsular bag, facilitating its quantification.

Methods:  Twelve albino rabbits underwent bilateral phacoemulsification. Their eyes were randomized to receive 0.4 cc of balanced salt solution, 5-fluorouracil (12.5 mg/mL) or mitomycin C (0.1 mg/mL) during hydrodissection. They were left aphakic, so the capsulorhexis would fuse with the posterior capsule postoperatively. After 4 weeks, killing/enucleation was performed. Regeneration/proliferation of lens material within the equatorial capsular bag (Soemmering’s ring) was graded from the Miyake–Apple view (0–4). Its area was also calculated (µm2) from direct measurements performed on histological sections.

Results:  The capsulorhexis margin fused with the peripheral posterior capsule, so the central posterior capsule remained clear. There was no significant difference among the groups (Kruskal–Wallis test) regarding Soemmering’s ring gross grading (P = 0.511), number of lens epithelial cell layers lining the inner surface of the capsular bag (P = 0.310) and Soemmering’s ring microscopic cross-sectional area (P = 0.638).

Conclusions:  The effect of different solutions on after-cataract should be assessed in terms of overall regeneration/proliferation of lens material within the capsular bag, in addition to posterior capsule opacification. When administered in low doses during hydrodissection, 5-fluorouracil and mitomycin C did not show a significant inhibitory effect on after-cataract formation in rabbit eyes.