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W. Herrmann, K. Hufendiek, P. Prahs, V.–P. Gabel, C. Lohmann; Keratocyte Density In The Retroablation Area After Lasek For The Correction Of Myopia . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):554.
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During excimer laser photoablation keratocyte cell death is induced extending to a depth of 50 µm in the retroablation area. Afterwards this area is repopulated by keratocyte migration from the adjacent stroma. The aim of this study was to investigate keratocyte density in the retroablation area and in the posterior stroma during the first year after LASEK for the correction of myopia.
LASEK surgery was performed with a Wavelight Concept 500 excimer laser in 17 eyes of 10 consecutive patients for the correction of myopia (–2.25 D to –9.0 D, mean –5.0 D). Confocal microscopy (Nidek Confoscan 2) was performed before surgery and 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after LASEK. Keratocyte density was assessed in the anterior retroablation zone in a depth of 5 µm and 25 µm and in the posterior stroma in a distance of 5 µm and 100 µm from the corneal endothelium.
Keratocyte density was significantly reduced in the retroablation area at all timepoints after LASEK. In a depth of 5 µm cell densities were decreased by 80%, 65%, 60%, and 44% 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after LASEK as compared to preoperative values. In a depth of 25 µm cell densities were decreased by 67%, 47%, 42%, and 30% 1 month , 3 months, 6 months and 12 months after LASEK as compared to preoperative values. In the deeper stromal areas no significant change in keratocyte density was observed at any timepoint.
Keratocyte density in the anterior retroablation area recovers during the first year after LASEK for the correction of myopia, but does not go back to preoperative values.
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