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Fischer, Britta M.; McMullen, Richard J.; Reese, Sven and Brehm, Walter (2019): Intravitreal injection of low-dose gentamicin for the treatment of recurrent or persistent uveitis in horses: Preliminary results. In: BMC Veterinary Research, Vol. 15, 29

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BackgroundDespite appropriate medical therapy, many horses with equine recurrent uveitis continue to suffer from recurrent bouts of inflammation. Surgical intervention via the pars plana vitrectomy or suprachoroidal cyclosporine implant placement may control and/or prevent recurrences, however, these procedures may be contraindicated, unavailable, or declined by an owner. Thus, an effective adjunctive treatment option may help to improve the clinical outcomes in those situations. There are several anecdotal reports on the use of intravitreal gentamicin injections, but to date, no data evaluating the complication rate and/or treatment effect following this treatment have been published. Thus, the aim of this prospective study was to describe the intravitreal gentamicin injection technique, describe the associated peri-injection (within 24h) and post-injection (30 to 780days) complications, and to report the effects of the injection on the clinical signs of uveitis. Additionally, evaluation of the systemic and ocular Leptospira-status, and its effect on the treatment outcome was performed. A total of 86 horses of various ages, breeds, and gender presenting with recurrent or persistent uveitis were treated via intravitreal injection of 4mg of undiluted gentamicin (0.04ml, Genta 100, 100mg/ml in 35 horses) or preservative-free gentamicin (0.05ml, 80mg/ml in 52 horses) under sedation and local anesthesia. All 86 horses were observed for immediate peri-injection and post-injection complications. Response to therapy was evaluated in 59 of the 86 horses (follow-up: 30 to 780days).ResultsPeri-injection complications consisted of subconjunctival (26/86;30.2%) or intracameral hemorrhage (4/86;4.7%);both of which completely resolved within 5days. Post-injection complications consisted of cataract formation/maturation (5/59 horses, 8.5%) and diffuse retinal degeneration (3/59 eyes 5.1%). The majority of horses 52/59 (88.1%) with a minimum follow-up period of 30days were controlled (absence of recurrent or persistent inflammation) at their last recheck examination. Recurrent inflammation was documented in 5/59 (8.5%) horses and persistent inflammation was diagnosed in 2/59 (3.4%) horses.ConclusionsIntravitreal injection of low-dose gentamicin shows promise at controlling different types and stages of uveitis. The ability of intravitreal injections of low-dose gentamicin (4mg) to control persistent and recurrent inflammation warrants further investigation.

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