Experimental short-term tolerance to perfluorodecalin in the rabbit eye: a histopathological study

Curr Eye Res. 1998 Aug;17(8):828-35. doi: 10.1076/ceyr.17.8.828.5157.


Purpose: Perfluorocarbon liquids are largely used in vitreoretinal surgery, but their permanence into the eye is considered harmful and early withdrawal is routinely performed by most of the surgeons. We undertook this investigation to evaluate the effects of Perfluorodecalin (PFD) tamponade following vitrectomy in the rabbit eye.

Methods: Twenty-four rabbits underwent vitrectomy of the right eye according with a standard procedure. Eighteen rabbits received PFD and 6 control rabbits received Balanced Salt Solution (BSS) as vitreous substitute. The eyes were examined with light microscopy and transmission electron microscopy after two, four and six days after tamponade and thirty days after the withdrawal of PFD.

Results: The tamponade lasting four or more days caused irreversible retinal damage involving the photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium. Peculiar impressions were formed in the inner retina at the site of the gravitational effect of PFD droplets.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this study we suggest that the tamponade with PFD lasting more than two days is detrimental to the retina, at least in the case of the rabbit. Damage seems to be related only to the high specific gravity of PFD.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fluorocarbons / pharmacology*
  • Fluorocarbons / toxicity
  • Male
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / drug effects*
  • Retina / ultrastructure*
  • Retinal Diseases / chemically induced
  • Retinal Diseases / pathology
  • Specific Gravity
  • Time Factors
  • Vitrectomy


  • Fluorocarbons
  • perfluorodecalin