The aqueous humors of 100 freshly enucleated rabbit eyes were assessed within 10 min postmortem by taking samples in the last stage of corneal dissection following the Dikstein-Maurice procedure. Aqueous levels of partial pressure of carbon dioxide (pCO2) averaged 58.2 ± 8.5 mm Hg to give calculated tCO2 and bicarbonate levels of 34.9 ± 2.2 mEq/l and 30.0 ± 3.4 mMI\, respectively. The pH and ionized Ca2+ levels averaged 7.39 and 1.50 mM while partial pressure of oxygen (pO2) values were variable (31.5 ± 23.6 mm Hg). The pH showed an inverse correlation to pCO2 values, and Ca2+ increased as pCO2 increased. O2 levels tended to decrease as CO2 increased. The results suggest that significant hypercap-nia and hypoxia of the eye fluids can occur even within 10 min postmortem for an enucleated globe at room temperature.

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