To investigate the effects of a novel stereotactic radiosurgical system for pars plana delivery of microcollimated x-rays to the retina and determine the retinal radiological dose response and toxicity threshold in a pig model.
The x-rays were delivered through the pars plana to the maculae of Yucatan miniswine to verify the targeting and safety of a cornea-scleral, stabilized, office-based delivery system. Twelve eyes were randomized to receive 0, 16, 24, 42, 60, or 90 Gy in a single dose to the retina. Eye examinations, fundus photography, fluorescein angiography, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography were obtained at days 7, 30, 60, and 90. Indocyanine green angiography was done at day 90.
Through day 90 interim analysis, no abnormalities of external structures were noted. A small cortical lens opacity was noted in the 60-Gy group. Fundus evaluation revealed no abnormalities at 16 or 24 Gy. Beginning at day 30, circular pale retinal lesions with sharp margins were noted in the maculae of the eyes that received 42, 60, and 90 Gy. Higher-dose lesions showed late staining on fluorescein angiography, choroidal hypoperfusion on indocyanine green angiography, and defined photoreceptor loss and retinal thinning on spectral-domain optical coherence tomography.
Transscleral stereotactic radiation dosing of porcine eyes demonstrates no apparent clinical abnormalities in doses less than 24 Gy. Doses of 42 Gy or higher led to focal choroidal and retinal damage within the target area.
Radiation can induce small–blood vessel closure and thereby has therapeutic potential in neovascular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration.