Localization of rose bengal, aluminum phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate, and chlorin E 6 in the rabbit eye

Robert Haimovici, Thomas A. Ciulla, Joan W. Miller, Tayyaba Hasan, Thomas J. Flotte, Alice G. Kenney, Kevin T. Schomacker, Evangelos S. Gragoudas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: The localization and site of action of photosensitizers in the eye may be important for photodynamic therapy for fundus disorders but remain poorly understood for most agents. We investigated the intraocular localization of xanthene, phthalocyanine, and chlorin photosensitizers by using fluorescence microscopy and digital fundus fluorescence angiography. Methods: Rose bengal (40 mg/kg), aluminum phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate (CASPc) (5 mg/kg), or chlorin e 6 (2 mg/kg) was intravenously administered to albino rabbits. The eyes were enucleated and examined by means of fluorescence microscopy 5, 20, 60, and 120 minutes and 24 hours after dye injection. In vivo digital fundus fluorescence angiography with use of rose bengal (2-4 mg/kg), CASPc (2 mg/kg), and chlorin e 6 (2 mg/kg) was performed. Results: For all agents studied pathologically, there was moderate fluorescence from the choroid and retinal pigment epithelium 5 minutes after dye injection. Mild fluorescence detected from the photoreceptor outer segments at 5 minutes was increased at 20 minutes. Angiographic studies with use of rose bengal, CASPc, and chlorin e 6 revealed differences in the pattern and rate of photosensitizer accumulation. Conclusions: Rose bengal, CASPc, and chlorin e 6 accumulate rapidly in the choroid and retinal pigment epithelium and less rapidly in the outer retina. Differences in ocular localization of these photosensitizers were demonstrated. The significance of these findings for potential photodynamic therapy with these agents requires further investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-74
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2002


  • Aluminum phthalocyanine tetrasulfonate
  • Angiography
  • Chlorin e
  • Choroid
  • Eye
  • Photodynamic therapy
  • Photosensitizer
  • Rabbit
  • Retina
  • Rose bengal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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