Structural and Histologic Eyelid Changes Associated with 6 Months of Topical Bimatoprost in the Rabbit

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To determine the periorbital effects of daily 0.03% bimatoprost in New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits.

Materials and Methods:

NZW rabbits were treated with daily 0.03% bimatoprost, artificial tears, or left untreated. Following 3 and 6 months of treatment, eyelid measurements were obtained for both upper and lower eyelid distraction, as well as canthus-to-canthus measurements. Once complete, subjects were humanely euthanized and eyelid tissue was utilized for histology. Hematoxylin and eosin staining, along with Verhoeff Van Giesen staining was performed on paraffin-embedded sections. Tissue was also stained with mActin antibodies as a marker for fibroblast activity.


Daily, topical 0.03% bimatoprost induced eyelid tightening and shortening the NZW rabbit. These findings were most striking at the 6-month timepoint, suggesting a temporal component to these induced changes. Histologically, eyelid tissue demonstrated thinning in bimatoprost-treated eyelids compared with those receiving artificial tears. Slightly increased mActin and Verhoeff Van Giesen staining was observed, suggesting increased fibroblast activity and elastin production in prostaglandin analogs–treated eyelids.


These findings suggest that eyelid tissue thins and tightens over time, following daily administration of 0.03% bimatoprost in the NZW rabbit. These findings are similar to what has been observed in human patients.

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