Contact transscleral ciliary body photodynamic therapy in pigmented rabbits using verteporfin and diode laser: Evaluation of treatment parameters

Miltiadis Tsilimbaris*, Spyridon Charisis, Tatiana Naoumidi, Vassilis Panteleontidis, Dimitra Skondra, Emmanouil Christodoulakis, Irene Naoumidi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate the treatment parameters necessary for achieving ciliary body photodynamic damage, enough to significantly reduce IOP, using verteporfin and a diode laser. Design: Animal study. Methods: The right eye ciliary body of 30 pigmented rabbits was irradiated using verteporfin (Visudyne) and a diode laser. Photosensitizer dose ranged from 0.375 to 2 mg/kg. Three adjacent laser spots were applied 0.5 mm behind limbus at 12 o'clock position using a contact transscleral technique. The laser power was ranging from 10 to 70 mW and the duration of irradiation from 1 to 5 min per spot. The left eyes of the rabbits were used as controls. Animals were sacrificed 24 hours after the procedure and their eyes were evaluated by means of light and electron microscopy. A step-by-step approach was adopted with adjustment of experimental parameters according to histological findings. The end point was to identify the irradiation parameters necessary for induction of photodynamic damage while minimizing thermal damage. Subsequently, 10 more animals were used in order to verify the effectiveness of these irradiation parameters in reducing the intraocular pressure. Results: The therapy parameters that led to photodynamic effect avoiding thermal damage were laser power of 25 mW, irradiation time of 3 min per spot, and verteporfin dose of 1 mg/kg. Transscleral ciliary body irradiation using these parameters resulted in vascular thrombosis of ciliary vessels and in substantial edema, resulting in separation of the two ciliary epithelium layers. These parameters were applied to 4 rabbits, resulting in a mean IOP reduction of 1.8 mmHg ± 1.2 that lasted for 4 days. An increase of the laser power to 35 mW tested in 6 additional animals, resulted in mean IOP reduction of 2.2 mmHg ± 1.2, lasting 6 days; some minimal thermal damage was seen with the later settings. Conclusion: The combination of verteporfin and 690 nm diode laser is effective for the induction of ciliary body photodynamic damage, which results in significant but temporary IOP reduction, after transscleral PDT in pigmented rabbits. With appropriate parameter selection, intraocular pressure reduction can be achieved while thermal damage is kept to a minimum.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)577-585
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2006


  • Ciliary body
  • Glaucoma
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Rabbits
  • Verteporfin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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