• Written By: Matthew W. Wilson, MD, FACS
    Ocular Pathology/Oncology

    The authors conducted this study to create and validate a model of lower eyelid fibrosis in Dutch-belted rabbits using ethanol alcohol, a well-studied stimulator of fibrosis. There are no previously published lower eyelid fibrosis animal models in the English language medical literature.

    The authors transcutaneously injected the margin of one lower eyelid of each of five Dutch-belted rabbits with 1-ml of standard 95% ethanol alcohol just inferior to the eyelid margin. They injected 1 ml of balanced saline solution into the opposite eyelid as a control. They placed a small tattoo on the skin overlying the inferior orbital rim for use as a measuring point of reference in relation to the lower eyelid margin.

    After eight weeks, they found that mean lower eyelid shortening was significantly greater in the eyes given ethanol alcohol than the control eyes (-3.4 mm vs. 0.5 mm, P = 0.01). Histopathologic analysis revealed extensive fibrosis in the eyelids injected with ethanol alcohol compared with the control eyelids.

    The authors conclude that this rabbit model using ethanol alcohol demonstrates eyelid fibrosis and lower eyelid shortening. The model may be useful for evaluating new surgical and pharmacological devices for the treatment of lower eyelid retraction.