Evaluation of the new photosensitizer Tookad (WST09) for photodynamic vessel occlusion of the choroidal tissue in rabbits

  • Framme C
  • Sachs H
  • Flucke B
 et al. 
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PURPOSE:To determine the efficacy of Tookad (WST09; Negma-Lerads, Magny-Les-Hameaux, France) photodynamic therapy (T-PDT) by evaluating the angiographic and histologic closure of choroidal vessels at different radiance exposures, drug dosages, and intervals between photosensitizer injection and laser application in a rabbit model.

METHODS:Chinchilla Bastard rabbits were injected intravenously with three different dye concentrations (2.5, 5, and 10 mg/kg) before application of light. In every group T-PDT was performed at four different times after injection: 5, 15, 30, and 60 minutes with different radiance exposures ranging from 200 to 3 J/cm2. Fundus photographs and fluorescein angiograms were obtained 90 minutes after injection. Follow-up angiographies were performed at days 1, 3, 7, and 14 after initial treatment. Histology was performed in selected cases immediately after treatment and on days 1, 3, and 7.

RESULTS:Immediately after irradiation, most of the visible lesions were angiographically hyperfluorescent due to damaged vessel endothelium and associated RPE damage. Lesions from high-radiance exposures revealed immediate hypofluorescence, indicating vessel closure. Hypofluorescent lesions appeared mainly during day 1 (all lesions angiographically visible, some hypofluorescent) to day 3 (all lesions hypofluorescent) after treatment. At day 7, ophthalmoscopically visible hyperpigmentation took place in all lesions. ED50 thresholds for angiographic hypofluorescence determined at day 3 after treatment with 2.5 mg/kg were 18.8 J/cm2 (5 minutes), 62.0 J/cm2 (15 minutes), and >100 J/cm2 (30 minutes); with 5 mg/kg, 8.4 J/cm2 (5 minutes), 22.8 J/cm2 (15 minutes), 54.5 J/cm2 (30 minutes), and >100 J/cm2 (60 minutes); and with 10 mg/kg, 11.7 J/cm2 (30 minutes) and 54.1 J/cm2 (60 minutes). Histology of the angiographically hypofluorescent lesions revealed vessel thrombosis in all groups 1 hour after PDT up to 7 days after treatment. Sparing of photoreceptors indicated selectivity of T-PDT; however, slight damage was partly observable. After 7 days, localized proliferation of the RPE cells was noted and was enhanced 14 days after treatment.

CONCLUSIONS:T-PDT has the potential to achieve selective choroidal vessel occlusion with proper parameter selection, such as (1) 2.5 mg/kg, 5 minutes, 100 J/cm2; (2) 5 mg/kg, 5 minutes, 25 J/cm2; or (3) 5 mg/kg, 15 minutes, 50 J/cm2; however, slight damage to the photoreceptors cannot be ruled out. RPE proliferation indicates primary RPE damage due to PDT, also described with the use of all other photosensitizers.

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