Experimental inhibition of corneal neovascularization by photodynamic therapy with verteporfin

Curr Eye Res. 2006 Mar;31(3):215-24. doi: 10.1080/02713680600559564.


Purpose: To investigate the anti-angiogenic effects of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin in a rabbit model of corneal neovascularization.

Methods: One week after suturing, the localization of verteporfin in the neovascularized cornea was examined through fluorescent microscopy 1 hr after administration. Rabbits were treated with one or two times of photodynamic therapy with verteporfin at 1-week intervals. Analysis of corneal neovascularization was performed by biomicroscopic and histological examinations.

Results: Fluorescent microscopy showed green fluorescence in the vascular walls and interstitial tissue of the corneal stroma. The mean percentages of neovascularized corneal area at 3 days, 1 week, and 2 weeks after one time of photodynamic therapy were 90.3% +/- 3.5%, 71.6% +/- 6.2%, and 43.6% +/- 15.1% in treated eyes and 96.4% +/- 1.9% (p = 0.10), 88.6% +/- 4.6% (p = 0.01), and 76.8% +/- 4.4% (p < 0.01) in control eyes, respectively. The mean percentages 3 days, 1 week, and 2 weeks after two times of photodynamic therapy were also significantly lower in treated eyes compared with control eyes. In quantitative histological examination at 1 and 2 weeks after therapy, treated eyes showed significantly less neovascular area and number of vessels than control eyes.

Conclusions: Photodynamic therapy with verteporfin is a safe and useful procedure to reduce experimental corneal neovascularization and can be used to inhibit angiogenesis in the cornea.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Corneal Neovascularization / diagnostic imaging
  • Corneal Neovascularization / drug therapy*
  • Corneal Neovascularization / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Microscopy, Acoustic
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photosensitizing Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Porphyrins / therapeutic use*
  • Rabbits
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Verteporfin


  • Photosensitizing Agents
  • Porphyrins
  • Verteporfin