Effect of corticosteroids on healing of the corneal endothelium in cats

Arieh Solomon, Yoram Solberg*, Michael Belkin, Nahum Landshman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Anterior segment surgery is frequently complicated by damage to the corneal endothelium. We examined the effects of corticosteroids, which are widely used for the suppression of postoperative inflammation, on the process of endothelial cell regeneration. Methods: The effect of corticosteroids on healing of the corneal endothelium was examined in 10 domestic cats. In both eyes a circular area, 8 mm in diameter, was scraped off at the center of the corneal endothelium without damaging Descemet's membrane. Immediately after scraping, as well as 2 and 5 days later, each animal received a unilateral retrobulbar injection of betamethasone sodium phosphate (2 mg). The other eye served as a control and received a retrobulbar injection of the vehicle only. Results: Evaluation of the corneal endothelium 2, 5 and 7 days after the trauma revealed that relative to the control contralateral eyes, the corticosteroid-treated eyes exhibited a higher mean coefficient of variation of the corneal endothelium cell area, fewer hexagonal cells, a larger number of polygonal cells with 3, 4, 7 and 8 cellular facets, thinner corneas and less inflammation. Conclusions: These findings suggest that corticosteroids unfavorably affect the regeneration of corneal endothelial cells after injury. As corticosteroids appear to have both positive and adverse effects on corneal function after trauma, they should be used with caution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-329
Number of pages5
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes


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