Objective To evaluate the rhythm of intraocular pressure (IOP) in healthy domestic cats with no evidence of ocular disease and to analyze the influence of photoperiod, age, gender and ocular diseases on diurnal-nocturnal variations of cat IOP.
Animals All animals were Domestic Short-haired cats; 30 were without systemic or ocular diseases, classified as follows: 12 male intact adult cats, five intact adult female, five adult spayed female, and eight male cats; the latter were less than 1 year of age. In addition, five adult cats with uveitis and three adult cats with secondary glaucoma were included.
Procedure IOP was assessed with a Tono-Pen XL at 3-h intervals over a 24-h period in 12 healthy adult male cats kept under a photoperiod of 12-h light/12-h darkness for 2 weeks. Eight animals from the same group were then kept under constant darkness for 48 h, and IOP was measured at 3-h intervals for the following 24 h. In addition, IOP was assessed at 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. in five intact females, five spayed females, and in eight young cats, as well as in five adult cats with uveitis and three glaucomatous cats.
Results Consistent, daily variations in IOP were observed in animals exposed to a light-dark cycle, with maximal values during the night. In cats exposed to constant darkness, maximal values of IOP were observed at subjective night. Differences of IOP values between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. (diurnal-nocturnal variations) persisted in intact females, spayed females, and young animals, as well as in uveitic and glaucomatous eyes.
Conclusions The present results indicate a daily rhythm of cat IOP, which appears to persist in constant darkness, suggesting some level of endogenous circadian control. In addition, daily variations of cat IOP seem to be independent of gender, age, or ocular diseases (particularly uveitis and glaucoma).