A new dye based on anthocyanins from the acai fruit (Euterpe oleracea) for chromovitrectomy in humans: clinical trial results

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;257(3):517-528. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-04204-y. Epub 2019 Jan 3.


Purpose: To test the applicability of the acai dye at a 25% concentration for identifying the posterior hyaloids and internal limiting membranes (ILMs) during pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in human eyes with macular holes (MHs).

Methods: This study included 25 patients with chronic idiopathic MHs. The exclusion criteria included glaucoma, previous significant ocular conditions, and previous ocular surgeries except uncomplicated cataract. Ten surgeons performed 23-gauge four-port PPV, phacoemulsification, posterior hyaloid detachment, ILM peeling guided by dye staining, and perfluoropropane injection. The patients remained prone for 5 days postoperatively. The patients were evaluated postoperatively after 1, 30, and 180 days. The surgeons completed a questionnaire regarding the dye's staining abilities.

Results: The posterior hyaloids and ILMs stained purple in all eyes. The final best-corrected visual acuity improved significantly (p < 0.001) from preoperatively (1.37 ± 0.29) to 180 days postoperatively (1.05 ± 0.43). The MHs closed in 76% of eyes.

Conclusion: The acai dye at a 25% concentration identified posterior hyaloids and ILMs during PPVs in humans. Dye toxicity was unlikely.

Keywords: Acai dye; Internal limiting membrane; Pars plana vitrectomy; Posterior hyaloid; Toxicity.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anthocyanins / pharmacology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Coloring Agents / pharmacology
  • Euterpe*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Period
  • Male
  • Retinal Perforations / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Perforations / surgery
  • Staining and Labeling / methods
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*
  • Vitrectomy / methods*
  • Vitreous Body / diagnostic imaging*
  • Vitreous Body / surgery


  • Anthocyanins
  • Coloring Agents