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A.M. Fowler, B.C. Roberts, W.C. Fowler, A.D. Proia; Corneal Reepithelialization Rates following Application of Bandage Contact Lens and Eye Lid Tarsorraphy . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):3819.
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Purpose: Our previous work demonstrated that wound healing (reepithelialization, stromal remodeling and scar formation) in the White Leghorn chicken cornea is similar to that observed in humans, making the chicken a viable animal model for corneal wound healing investigations. Additionally, using this animal model we have shown patching techniques (a traditional treatment method for corneal epithelial abrasions) to slow reepithelialization compared to untreated controls (p<0.004). This study objectively quantifies reepithelialization times and corneal epithelial cell crawling rates on wounded corneas treated with either a bandage contact lens (BCL) or an eyelid tarsorraphy (TAR). Methods: : Eighteen adult female White Leghorn chickens were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: untreated control, BCL and TAR. The right corneas of each subject had a 5 mm diameter zone debrided centrally using a Gills’ blade. Following debridement the appropriate treatment was applied and the subjects were followed by fluorescein photography every 4 hours until reepithelialization was achieved. Using a computerized image analysis system, epithelial defect areas were quantified at each time point and appropriate statistical analysis performed. Results: The epithelial defect healing times in both the TAR (36hrs) and BCL (36hrs) treatment groups were significantly shorter than controls (44hrs) (p<0.0001 for both). Additionally, the corneal epithelial cell crawling rate in both the TAR and BCL treatment groups was significantly faster than controls at 125% of the control rate (p<0.0025 for both). Conclusions: Bandage contact lens and eye lid tarsorraphy improved healing times for corneal epithelial defects compared to controls and the traditionally used pressure patch. Furthermore, the use of a bandage contact lens to treat corneal epithelial defects allows the subject to continue to use the injured eye during healing, an advantage not present in any of the other treatments tested.
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