PURPOSE: To evaluate the function of the blood aqueous barrier(BAB) in the eyes with silicone oil emulsification (SOE).
METHODS: Protein concentrations, expressed in albumin equivalents,were determined in aqueous humor of the eyes with SOE in 11 consecutive patients by means of proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy. Correlations with various clinical factors were studied.
RESULTS: Normal function of the BAB (albumin equivalents 1mg/ml and less was found in 8 eyes (73%) independently on underlying disease, early postoperative reaction after pars plana vitrectomy with SO implantation, degree of SOE and late postoperative complications. Increased permeability of the BAB (albumin equivalents equal 2, 3 and 6.5 mg/ml) was found in 3 eyes (27%) with recent acute complication (retinal detachment after SO removal in 2 eyes, and secondary angle closure glaucoma in 1 eye).
CONCLUSION: SOE in vivo was associated with increased permeability of the BAB in the minority of the eyes. Other factors should be studied to explain the variability of SOE. 1H NMR spectroscopy might be a valuable method for the study of SOE.