Precipitants of 5-Fluorouracil in Trabeculectomy Bleb Management: A Comparative Laboratory Study

J Curr Glaucoma Pract. May-Aug 2018;12(2):64-66. doi: 10.5005/jp-journals-10008-1247. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Aim: Concerns regarding 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) corneal toxicity have resulted in various ways of reducing its corneal exposure during post-operative trabeculectomy bleb manipulation. This study investigates the properties of various topical agents used to induce the precipitation of this compound.

Materials and methods: This is a double-blind, descriptive, laboratory study comparing five different potential precipitants of 5-FU (proxymetacaine (proxy), oxybuprocaine (oxy), ametho-caine (ameth), fluorescein (flor), proxymetacaine + fluorescein (proxy-flor) to a control group (normal saline). A 0.01 mL of each anonymized agent was applied next to a clear round comparison marker in a transparent sterile container set on a dark background. 5-FU (0.01 mL of 50 mg/mL) was subsequently applied to each agent. The induced changes in transparency were imaged and compared to the transparency of the central marker. For each application, pH changes were also noted.

Results: Proxy, flor and proxy + flor did not result in any discernible 5-FU precipitation. Oxy resulted in a moderate visible change, and ameth produced very significant precipitation. Application of proxy, oxy, ameth, and proxy + flor resulted in the neutralization of the 5-FU's alkaline pH.

Conclusion: We propose using a cotton-tipped bud dipped in ameth applied at the injection site as the recommended method to avoid 5-FU corneal exposure in these cases.

Clinical significance: Practitioners should be aware of the differences in precipitation of 5-FU by different types of topical anesthetics and modify techniques of anesthesia and 5-FU administration accordingly.How to cite this article: Mercieca KJ, Fenerty CH, Steeples LR, Drury B, Bhargava A. Precipitants of 5-Fluorouracil in Trabeculectomy Bleb Management : A Comparative Laboratory StudyJ Curr Glaucoma Pract 2018;12(2):64-66.

Keywords: 5-FU; Bleb management; Needling; Trabeculectomy.; Anti-metabolite.