Rose Bengal Photodynamic Antimicrobial Therapy: A Pilot Safety Study

Jaime D. Martinez, Esdras Arrieta, Andrea Naranjo, Pedro Monsalve, Keenan J. Mintz, Jeffrey Peterson, Alejandro Arboleda, Heather Durkee, Mariela C. Aguilar, Daniel Pelaez, Sander R. Dubovy, Darlene Miller, Roger Leblanc, Guillermo Amescua, Jean Marie Parel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To evaluate the in vivo corneal changes after Rose Bengal photodynamic antimicrobial therapy (RB-PDAT) treatment in New Zealand White rabbits. METHODS: Sixteen rabbits were divided into 5 groups. All groups underwent deepithelialization of an 8 mm diameter area in the central cornea. Group 1: balanced salt solution drops only, group 2: 0.2% RB only, group 3: green light exposure (525 nm, 5.4 J/cm2) only, group 4: 0.1% RB-PDAT, and group 5: 0.1% RB-PDAT. All rabbits were followed clinically. Group 5 rabbits were followed using anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) and clinically. On day 35 after initial treatment, 1 rabbit from group 5 was re-exposed to green light (5.4 J/cm2) to evaluate reactivation of the remaining RB dye, and terminal deoxynucleotyl transferase-mediated UTP-biotin-nick-end labeling assay was performed on corneal cryosections. RESULTS: Complete reepithelization was observed, and corneas remained clear after treatment in all groups. In group 5, AS-OCT revealed a cross-linking demarcation line. AS-OCT showed RB fluorescence and collagen cross-linking in all treated eyes of group 5 animals after 5 weeks of treatment. Photobleached RB retention in the corneal stroma was corroborated by fluorescence confocal microscopy on frozen sections. There was no evidence of a sustained cytotoxic effect through terminal deoxynucleotyl transferase-mediated UTP-biotin-nick-end labeling at 5 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: RB-PDAT with 0.1% RB is a safe procedure. There was no difference clinically and on histopathology compared with control groups. In eyes where RB dye is retained in the corneal stroma after 1 month of treatment, oxidative stress is not evidenced at long term.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1036-1043
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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