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V. Zubaty, E. Spoerl, F. Reiskup-Wolf, L. Pillunat, L. E. Pillunat; Estrogen-Induced Changes of Biomechanics of the Cornea as A Possible Reason for Keratectasia. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):1862.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The risk for regression after PRK or for the development of a keratectasia after lasik is higher in women. Actually an important interest consists in the influence of estrogen on the corneal stability after cornea-refractive surgery. The aim of the experimental study was to investigate the change of biomechanical properties of the cornea induced by estrogen.
The influence of estrogen was investigated at 12 fresh porcine corneas incubated in culture medium with 10 µm estradiol for 7 days. A group of 12 porcine corneas incubated in culture medium without estradiol for the same time serves as control. Strips of 10x4 mm were cut and the stress-strain was measured in a biomaterial tester. The Young’s modulus was calculated.
During incubation the thickness changes in the control group only by 5.9 % and in the estradiol group by 12 %. However, the difference in the biomechanical stress values at 10% strain is important larger. In the control group the stress is (120.18 ± 28.93) 10³ N/m² and in the estradiol group (76.87 ± 34.63) 10³ N/m² , P=0.002. This is a reduction of the stiffness by 36% due to the estradiol treatment.
Estrogen is a modulating factor of the biomechanical properties of the cornea which is not only explainable by an increased swelling. Therefore the hormone status has a not to unterestimated influence on the biomechanical stability of the cornea and on the results after refractive surgery and may contribute to the development of keratectasia.
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