Benzalkonium chloride induces anterior chamber inflammation in previously untreated patients with ocular hypertension as measured by flare meter: a randomized clinical trial.

Anna Stevens, Philippe Kestelyn, Dirk De Bacquer

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The deleterious effects of benzalkonium chloride (BAK) on the ocular surface are well known. However, few clinical data are available to prove a toxic effect at the level of the anterior chamber. The laser flare meter is a reliable tool to detect low levels of inflammation in the anterior chamber. We wanted to know whether instillation of BAK-preserved timolol in one eye would result in higher laser flare values than the instillation of preservative-free timolol in the fellow eye. Methods: Randomized prospective, single-masked clinical trial. Twenty-eight untreated patients with ocular hypertension were recruited. After obtaining baseline flare values, we randomly assigned one eye to BAK-preserved timolol and the fellow eye to preservative-free timolol. After 1 month, flare measurements were repeated. Results: There was a significant increase in the flare values in the two treatment regimens, but the increase in the BAK-treated eyes was higher than in the preservative-free treated eyes, and this difference in increase was statistically significant. Conclusion: This is the first study to show that short-term BAK administration produces inflammation in the anterior segment of previously untreated patients whose bloodaqueous barrier was not affected by recent intraocular surgery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-224
Number of pages4
JournalActa Ophthalmol
Volume90
Issue numberMay
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Keywords

  • anterior chamber inflammation
  • benzalkonium chloride
  • glaucoma medication
  • laser flare meter

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