The structural effect of intravitreal Brilliant blue G and Indocyanine green in rats eyes

Eye (Lond). 2013 Mar;27(3):425-31. doi: 10.1038/eye.2012.260. Epub 2012 Nov 30.


Purpose: To compare the potential retinal toxicity of two commercially Brilliant blue G dyes (Brilliant Peel and Ocublue Plus) and Indocyanine green (ICG) at usual clinical concentration.

Methods: Brilliant Peel 0.025% (n=9), Ocublue Plus 0.025% (n=9), and ICG 0.05% (n=9) were injected intravitreally into Sprague-Dawley rat left eyes with balanced salt solution injected in the contralateral eyes as control. Evaluation of the effect of the dyes on retinal architecture was done by histological analysis of neurosensory retinal thickness and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) counts 7 days after intravitreal injection. Paired t-test was done to detect the presence of biologically significant thinning in neurosensory retina and five retinal layers for each dye (paired t-tests). One-way ANOVA and Tukey's Honestly Significant Difference test were used to assess whether different dyes caused significant thinning in mean neurosensory retinal thickness and reduction of mean RGC density.

Results: Eyes treated with ICG had significantly thinner mean total neurosensory retinal thickness compared with the control eyes (P-value=0.01), followed by those treated with Ocublue Plus (P-value=0.03). Brilliant Peel did not cause significant thinning in any of the five retinal layers (all P-values>0.05). No significant difference in mean thinning of the total retinal thickness was detected between dyes (P-value=0.11). The mean thickness of the photoreceptor outer segment and outer plexiform layers were significantly reduced in ICG-injected eyes when compared with the control eyes (P-value=0.02). No significant difference in mean thinning between the three dyes was detected at all five retinal layers using one-way ANOVA (all P-values>0.35). RGC density was significantly reduced for ICG (P-value=0.01) but only marginally for Ocublue Plus (P-value=0.05). No significant reduction in RGC density was observed for Brilliant Peel (P-value=0.2).

Conclusion: Intravitreal Brilliant Peel is safe to rats retina. The retinal thinning and reduction in RGC density induced by Ocublue Plus requires further studies to determine the safety profile of this product. Potential retinal toxicity is seen with ICG 0.05%.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Coloring Agents / toxicity*
  • Female
  • Indocyanine Green / toxicity*
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Pilot Projects
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retina / drug effects*
  • Retina / pathology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / pathology
  • Rosaniline Dyes / toxicity*
  • Vitreoretinal Surgery


  • Coloring Agents
  • Rosaniline Dyes
  • Indocyanine Green
  • coomassie Brilliant Blue