Precorneal residence time in humans of sodium hyaluronate as measured by gamma scintigraphy

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1990;228(6):510-2. doi: 10.1007/BF00918481.


The aim of the present study was to quantify in man the distribution and clearance of two aqueous sodium hyaluronate (SH) solutions of 0.125% and 0.250% after the administration of 25 microliters onto the cornea. Isotonic phosphate buffer (PB) was used as a reference instillation. No systemic or local medication was given to the seven 18- to 30-year-old, healthy male volunteers. A detailed evaluation of the anterior segment of the eye, as well as a Schirmer test and a break-up time measurement, yielded results within the normal range. The clearance of 0.125% and 0.250% SH solutions radiolabelled with sodium pertechnetate Tc-99m was measured by gamma scintigraphy and compared with that of a PB solution tagged with the same radiolabel. There was no statistically significant difference between the quantities of 0.125% SH and PB solutions remaining in the precorneal space at 20 min (paired t-test, P = 0.78, n = 7). However, in comparing the 0.250% SH with the PB solution, we observed a statistically significant difference (P = 0.01, n = 7) in the amount remaining in the precorneal space after the same interval. Actually, 53% of the radiolabelled 0.250% SH solution remained on the cornea as compared with 30% for the 0.125% SH solution and 18.3% for the PB solution. These results suggest that an SH solution of 0.250% might have a prolonged residence time on the precorneal surface, and that SH could therefore be used as an additive in various drug-release systems for the eye.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Eye Segment / diagnostic imaging
  • Anterior Eye Segment / metabolism
  • Cornea / diagnostic imaging
  • Cornea / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyaluronic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Hyaluronic Acid / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles / pharmacokinetics
  • Radionuclide Imaging
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m
  • Tears / metabolism


  • Pharmaceutical Vehicles
  • Hyaluronic Acid
  • Sodium Pertechnetate Tc 99m