Transscleral and transcorneal iontophoresis of ketoconazole in the rabbit eye

Ophthalmology. 1989 May;96(5):724-9. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(89)32832-6.


The authors assessed the efficacy of transscleral and transcorneal iontophoresis of ketoconazole as a method of drug delivery to the aqueous humor, vitreous, and cornea of the rabbit eye. Transscleral iontophoresis (4-6 mAmps for 15 minutes) achieved peak ketoconazole concentrations in the aqueous 1 hour after treatment (10.2 micrograms/ml) and remained at fungicidal therapeutic concentrations for 8 hours; in the vitreous, a peak concentration of 0.1 microgram/ml occurred between 1 and 2 hours posttreatment. Transcorneal iontophoresis (1.5 mAmps for 15 minutes) achieved peak corneal concentration of 27.6 micrograms/ml and peak aqueous concentrations of 1.4 micrograms/ml, both 1 hour after iontophoresis. Fungicidal therapeutic drug concentrations were sustained for 2 hours both in the cornea and in the aqueous. These concentrations were compared with those obtained after subconjunctival injection (peak values): 0.8 microgram/ml in aqueous, 5.9 micrograms/ml in cornea, and 0.7 microgram/ml in vitreous, all within 1 hour of injection. Aqueous and corneal concentrations were significantly higher after transscleral and transcorneal iontophoresis than subconjunctival injection (P less than 0.05). Iontophoresis is proposed as an effective means of delivering high concentrations of ketoconazole to the anterior segment of the eye.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Aqueous Humor / analysis
  • Conjunctiva
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Drug Administration Routes
  • Injections
  • Iontophoresis*
  • Ketoconazole / administration & dosage*
  • Ketoconazole / pharmacokinetics
  • Rabbits
  • Sclera / drug effects
  • Time Factors
  • Vitreous Body / analysis


  • Ketoconazole