We sought to develop and characterize outer retinal degeneration induced by intravitreal injection of sodium iodate (SI) after vitrectomy in rabbits. To determine the effective dose of SI, the right eyes of 19 male New Zealand white rabbits received an intravitreal injection of SI or sham. Based on the dose-dependence results, 0.4 mg of SI in 0.05 mL of total volume was injected into the right eyes of 10 rabbits at two weeks after vitrectomy. In the dose-dependence study, localized retinal atrophy was observed with 0.3- and 0.4-mg SI injections without vitrectomy. Severe and diffuse retinal atrophy was identified by spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) at one month after a 0.5-mg SI injection following vitrectomy. In the second experiment, 0.4 mg of SI in 0.05 mL was injected, and the severity of outer retinal degeneration was graded as one of two types according to electroretinography (ERG) response change. There was no response on ERG in complete retinal degeneration, 30% of all 10 rabbits. Intravitreal injection of 0.4 mg of SI into vitrectomized rabbit eyes induces diffuse outer retinal degeneration, and the degree of retinal degeneration can be evaluated through in vivo ophthalmic examination.
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