Topical Cyclosporine A in the management of postkeratoplasty glaucoma and corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension (CIOH) and the penetration of topical 0.5% cyclosporine A into the cornea and anterior chamber

CLAO J. 1998 Jul;24(3):159-65.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect on intraocular pressure (IOP) of substituting topical Cyclosporine A 0.5% for topical corticosteroids in patients with postkeratoplasty glaucoma and corticosteroid-induced ocular hypertension (CIOH). We also sought to determine the penetration of topical 0.5% Cyclosporine A into the cornea and anterior chamber.

Methods: Topical Cyclosporine A 0.5% was prospectively substituted for topical corticosteroids in 47 patients (52 eyes) with postkeratoplasty glaucoma and CIOH in order to eliminate the IOP-elevating effect of topical corticosteroids, while maintaining protection against allograft rejection. Ten patients received 0.5% topical Cyclosporine before keratoplasty. Their corneal tissue and aqueous samples were evaluated by high pressure liquid chromatography for Cyclosporine levels.

Results: Forty-eight of 52 eyes (92.3%) demonstrated a reduction of IOP at first followup (mean: -7.9 mmHg; range: -19 to +2). Mean followup was 10.3 months, ranging from 1 to 37 months. At last follow-up, mean IOP was -8.2 mm Hg. There were six allograft rejections, five of which were reversed with the reintroduction of topical corticosteroids. Graft clarity was maintained in 46 of 52 eyes (88%). The mean cornea Cyclosporine concentration was 3679 ng/gm (range: 1980 to 5520 ng/ gm) and aqueous humor mean concentration was 6.05 ng/mL (range: 0.4 to 15.5 ng/mL).

Conclusions: Topical Cyclosporine A 0.5% may be substituted for topical corticosteroids to aid in the management of postkeratoplasty glaucoma and CIOH. However, the use of Cyclosporine in place of corticosteroids may be associated with an increased risk of immune rejections. The corneal penetration of topical Cyclosporine is excellent while the penetration into the anterior chamber is poor.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Chamber / drug effects
  • Anterior Chamber / metabolism*
  • Anterior Chamber / surgery
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / metabolism
  • Cornea / surgery
  • Cyclosporine / administration & dosage*
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glaucoma / drug therapy*
  • Glaucoma / etiology
  • Glucocorticoids / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / chemically induced*
  • Ocular Hypertension / drug therapy
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Prospective Studies


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Cyclosporine