Steroidal and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory medications can improve photoreceptor survival after laser retinal photocoagulation

Ophthalmology. 2007 Oct;114(10):1876-83. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.04.035.


Objective: To determine whether methylprednisolone or indomethacin can enhance photoreceptor survival after laser retinal injury in an animal model.

Design: Experimental study.

Participants: Twenty rhesus monkeys.

Methods: Twenty rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) received a grid of argon green (514.5 nm, 10 ms) laser lesions in the macula of the right eye and a grid of neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Nd:YAG; 1064 nm, 10 ns) lesions in the macula of the left eye, followed by randomization to 2 weeks of treatment in 1 of 4 treatment groups: high-dose methylprednisolone, moderate-dose methylprednisolone, indomethacin, or control. The lesions were assessed at day 1, day 14, 2 months, and 4 months. The authors were masked to the treatment group. This report discusses the histologic results of ocular tissue harvested at 4 months.

Main outcome measure: The number of surviving photoreceptor cell nuclei within each lesion was compared with the number of photoreceptor nuclei in surrounding unaffected retina. The proportion of surviving photoreceptor nuclei was compared between each treatment group.

Results: Argon retinal lesions in the high-dose steroid treatment group and the indomethacin treatment group demonstrated improved photoreceptor survival compared with the control group (P = 0.004). Hemorrhagic Nd:YAG lesions demonstrated improved survivability with indomethacin treatment compared with controls (P = 0.003). In nonhemorrhagic Nd:YAG laser retinal lesions, the lesions treated with moderate-dose steroids demonstrated improved photoreceptor survival compared with the control group (P = 0.004).

Conclusions: Based on histologic samples of retinal laser lesions 4 months after injury, treatment with indomethacin resulted in improved photoreceptor survival in argon laser lesions and hemorrhagic Nd:YAG laser lesions. Treatment with systemic methylprednisolone demonstrated improved photoreceptor survival in argon retinal lesions and in nonhemorrhagic Nd:YAG lesions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Survival / drug effects
  • Coloring Agents
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Indomethacin / therapeutic use
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Injections, Intravenous
  • Laser Coagulation / adverse effects*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Methylprednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Ophthalmoscopy
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / drug effects*
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / pathology
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / diagnosis
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental / etiology
  • Retina / injuries*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Coloring Agents
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Indocyanine Green
  • Methylprednisolone
  • Indomethacin