gms | German Medical Science

104th DOG Annual Meeting

21. - 24.09.2006, Berlin

Vitrectomy optimized for rabbit eye: Stanford technique step-by-step

Meeting Abstract

  • F. E. Molnar - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • D. Yellachich - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • N. Berker - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • T. Leng - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • P. Huie - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • M. F. Marmor - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA
  • M. S. Blumenkranz - Ophthalmology, Stanford University, USA

Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft e.V.. 104. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Ophthalmologischen Gesellschaft (DOG). Berlin, 21.-24.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06dogP170

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: September 18, 2006

© 2006 Molnar et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The structurally different rabbit eye with different orbital anatomy, larger lens, different vasculature, thinner sclera and different rigidity compared to that of a human, requires specific or modified surgical steps that vary from lab to lab. We introduce our technique for performing vitrectomy and subretinal implantation in the rabbit eye with step-by-step illustrations.


Vitrectomy was performed on New Zealand Red rabbits under anesthesia with intramuscular ketamin, xylazine, and glycopyrrolate injections. Bow-around-the-eye technique, continuous fluid flow for balanced eye pressure, four-way stopcocks for fluid-fluid or fluid-silicon oil exchange, and a special implantation instrument were used for optimal results.


The bow-around-the-eye technique led to stability and good access to the sclera. Continuous fluid flow, continuous intraocular infusion with the use of the four-way stopcocks kept the pressure balanced, while even a short period of hypotony leads to complications in the rabbit eye. The modified head of the extrusion needle served as safe, covered compartment to implant pigment epithelium cells on synthetic Bruch’s membrane substitutes into the subretinal space.


The introduced specific and modified techniques helped our lab to reach a high success rate in posterior segment surgery in the rabbit eye and helped to reduce the number of required animals to reach the experimentally necessary results.