Confocal assessment of the effects of fourth-generation fluoroquinolones on the cornea

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12 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To evaluate the toxicity of fourth-generation fluoroquinolone antibiotic solutions on the rabbit corneal epithelium. METHODS. In vivo confocal microscopy was used to assess epithelial structure in 18 rabbits, and tight junction integrity of superficial epithelial cells was evaluated with ZO-1 labeling in 10 rabbits. Eyes were bathed with commercial solutions of moxifloxacin (Vigamox) or gatifloxacin (Zymar) solution for 3 minutes, rinsed with balanced salt solution, and immediately examined. Balanced salt solution rinsing alone served as the control. RESULTS. A decrease in epithelial cell size was observed after treatment with Zymar (P<0.05, two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance), but not with Vigamox or the control. Normal ZO-1 organization was observed in controls and eyes treated with Vigamox. ZO-1 staining in eyes treated with Zymar was disrupted, patchy, and generally weaker than that in control eyes. CONCLUSIONS. After short-term, intensive exposure to Vigamox, corneal epithelial integrity and tight junction organization are maintained. Zymar induces a loss of superficial epithelial cells and breakdown of tight junctions under similar conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalEye and Contact Lens
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Cornea
  • Fluoroquinolones

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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