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    Dye from açai fruit safe, effective for use during chromovitrectomy

    A dye made from the açai fruit (Euterpe oleracea) is safe for use in human eyes and effective for identifying the posterior hyaloid and internal limiting membrane (ILM) during vitreoretinal surgery, according to phase I preliminary study results. 

    After completing an experimental study, Mauricio Maia, MD, PhD, and colleagues conducted a trial to evaluate the efficacy and safety profile of the dye made from anthocyanins from the Brazilian açai fruit. The purple dye was formulated at a concentration of 25% and used to aid visualization of the posterior hyaloid and ILM during pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) in humans.

    The dye has a pH of 7.0, an osmolarity of 300 mOSM, and a density of 1.1. Spectophotometric analysis indicated that cyanidine 3-glucoside is the main anthocyanin component, according to Dr. Maia, who is associate professor of ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    Twenty-five patients were included in the clinical trial, and 10 surgeons performed the 25 surgeries. Patients were included who had a diagnosis of idiopathic macular holes of less than 2 years’ duration.

    The surgical procedure performed by all surgeons included a 23-gauge, four-port combined phacoemulsification/PPV that was guided by staining the posterior hyaloid and ILM using the açai fruit dye at a 25% concentration.

    “The posterior hyaloid detachment was guided by the staining of the membrane and the surgical maneuver was easily performed,” Dr. Maia said. “In addition, another flush of the dye was used to stain the ILM and the ILM peeling was completed using the same dye. This was followed by fluid air exchange, perfluoropropane injection, and 3 days of prone positioning.”

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