Intrascleral concentration vs depth profile of mitomycin-C after episcleral application: impact of irrigation

Exp Eye Res. 2000 Feb;70(2):139-43. doi: 10.1006/exer.1999.0784.


Mitomycin-C has been reported to cause toxic effects on the ciliary body after episcleral application during glaucoma surgery. We investigated the intrascleral diffusion of mitomycin-C in an experimental model. The episcleral sides of scleral quadrants of 14 human donor eyes were exposed for 5 min to sponges (corneal light shield, Merocel corp., Mystic, CT, U.S.A.) soaked with 200 microg ml(-1)mitomycin-C. After the exposure one of four quadrants was not irrigated and the episcleral sides of three quadrants were irrigated with 40, 100 and 200 ml saline. A 9 mm scleral disk was punched out with a trephine and frozen on a kryotome plate 2 min after the end of mitomycin-C exposure. An 8 mm diameter scleral disk was then cut with a trephine, again frozen on a kryotome plate and then horizontally dissected with a kryotome. For analysis purposes seven cuts of 20 microm thickness were combined to one layer of 140 microm. Six layers could be reproduced and were analysed. The mitomycin-C concentrations of these layers were analysed by high-performance liquid chromatography. A concentration vs depth profile was calculated for each group, and the half-width of concentration was calculated by log-linear regression. The mitomycin-C concentration of layer 1 was 24.51 microg g(-1)(+/-7.52) without irrigation, 13.15 microg g(-1)(+/-4.38) after 40 ml irrigation, 10.29 (+/-3.53) after 100 ml irrigation and 8.4 microg g(-1)(+/-1.62) after 200 ml irrigation. In layers 1-3 the concentration of mitomycin-C was significantly reduced by irrigation (ANOVA). In the deeper intrascleral layers irrigation had no effect on the mitomycin-C concentrations. Between layers 2 and 6 the half-width of the mitomycin-C concentration was 101 microm (no-irrigation group), 141 microm (40 ml irrigation group), 153 microm (100 ml irrigation group), and 164 microm (200 ml irrigation group). Irrigation reduced the mitomycin-C concentration only down to half of the scleral thickness, leaving the deep intrascleral concentrations unchanged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / pharmacokinetics*
  • Humans
  • Mitomycin / pharmacokinetics*
  • Sclera / metabolism*
  • Therapeutic Irrigation


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Mitomycin