A comparative study of bovine pericardium (periguard) and homologous sclera as lower eyelid spacer graft analogs in New Zealand white rabbits

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Ophthalmic Plastic Reconstructive Surgery

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Purpose: To compare bovine pericardium (Periguard; Bio-Vascular, Inc., St. Paul, MN, U.S.A.) and homologous sclera as spacer graft analogs in a rabbit model.

Methods: A nonrandomized experimental animal study was conducted. Elliptical subconjunctival implants were placed in one lower eyelid each of 10 rabbits. Five rabbits received homologous sclera implants, and five received bovine pericardium implants. The rabbits were killed 7 weeks later, and the lower eyelids were examined clinically and histopathologically.

Results: Rabbit eyelids implanted with Periguard had a more marked inflammatory reaction and more significant collagen lamellar disruption than eyelids implanted with homologous sclera, although clinically they appeared quite similar.

Conclusions: Although bovine pericardium elicited a more intense inflammatory response at the histopathologic level, both implants were similarly tolerated at the clinical level. These findings are consistent with animal and human investigations of bovine pericardium in other parts of the body, and warrant further studies into its potential use in the human eyelid.