Triamcinolone acetonide suspension toxicity to corneal endothelial cells

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2006 Sep;32(9):1549-55. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2006.04.025.


Purpose: To investigate the cytotoxicity of triamcinolone acetonide (TA) suspensions to corneal endothelial cells (CECs).

Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan.

Methods: New Zealand white rabbit CECs were exposed for 1 minute to balanced salt solution (BSS); commercial TA suspension (cTA); vehicle-removed TA (-vTA); pure vehicle (V); 1/10 dilutions of cTA, -vTA, or V in BSS; or benzyl alcohol (BA) (cTA preservative) 9 mg/mL. Corneal endothelial cell toxicity was assessed by light microscopy (trypan blue staining) and transmission electron microscopy. The effects of 3-, 10-, or 30-minute exposures to 1/10 cTA, 1/10 -vTA, or V were also investigated.

Results: One-minute exposures to -vTA or 1/10 -vTA did not damage CECs; however, cTA, V, or 1/10 dilutions of cTA or V caused damage and cells exposed to BA showed severe ultrastructural damage/lysis. A 30-minute exposure to 1/10 -vTA did not cause significant cell damage, whereas 3- to 30-minute exposures to 1/10 cTA or V showed significant time-dependent cytotoxicity.

Conclusions: Commercial TA suspension was cytotoxic to cultured rabbit CECs because of the preservative, BA, in the vehicle. Because 1/10 -vTA appeared to be safe for up to 30 minutes of exposure, use of 1/10 dilutions of vehicle-removed TA is suggested to help surgeons visualize prolapsed vitreous during anterior vitrectomy in complicated cataract surgeries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / toxicity
  • Animals
  • Benzyl Alcohol / toxicity
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coloring Agents / metabolism
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelium, Corneal / drug effects*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Corneal / ultrastructure
  • Glucocorticoids / toxicity*
  • Minerals / toxicity
  • Rabbits
  • Sodium Chloride / toxicity
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide / toxicity*
  • Trypan Blue / metabolism


  • Acetates
  • BSS solution
  • Coloring Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Minerals
  • Sodium Chloride
  • Triamcinolone Acetonide
  • Trypan Blue
  • Benzyl Alcohol