We developed and characterized a canine model of outer retinal degeneration induced by sodium iodate (SI) intravitreal injection after vitrectomy. In the preliminary study, we repeatedly injected SI intravitreally into the eyes of three canines to develop outer retinal degeneration two weeks after vitrectomy. Based on the preliminary study, a single dose of either 1.2 mg or 1.0 mg SI/0.05 mL was also injected (1.2 mg in n = 5 canines, 1.0 mg in n = 2 canines). Spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (OCT), electroretinography (ERG), and histological examinations were performed at baseline and following intravitreal injection. In the preliminary study, after a 0.5-mg SI injection and a 1.0-mg SI injection and after two 0.8-mg SI injections, retinal degeneration with retinal thinning was observed on OCT imaging. In the second study, after a single 1.0- or 1.2-mg SI injection, outer retinal degeneration was induced. All eyes showed diffuse outer retinal degeneration on OCT and a loss of both cone and rod responses in ERG. Histological examination also showed the loss of outer retinal layer. Intravitreally injected SI (1.0–1.2 mg) in a vitrectomized canine model induced outer retinal degeneration effectively, and could be evaluated through in vivo ophthalmic examination.
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