Retrobulbar anesthesia and eyelid closure--effect on corneal angiogenesis

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We evaluated the effect of corneal anesthesia produced by retrobulbar injections of bupivicaine and epinephrine on corneal neovascularization in the rat. The eyelids were sutured closed to prevent dessication and ulceration of the insensitive corneas. The amount of corneal neovascularization induced in animals receiving a retrobulbar anesthetic did not differ from those receiving control solutions. However, rats receiving retrobulbar injections exhibited greater corneal neovascularization than those that did not. Rats that had their eyelids sutured or patched closed also had more neovascularization than animals that did not. Likewise, rats that had sutures placed in the upper and lower eyelids, without palpebral immobilization, manifested more neovascularization than rats without sutures. These studies suggest that corneal anesthesia does not affect neovascularization induced by silver/potassium nitrate cauterization and that retrobulbar injections and eyelid closure enhance corneal neovascularization.