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Y-I Chang, J Lee, S Chung, N Baek; The Effectof Corneal Epithelial Flap on the Wound Healing of Canine Cornea . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1687.
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Purpose: LASEK is a newly developed refractive surgery technique that can make up for the complications from PRK and LASIK. The most unique precedure in LASEK is covering of the cornea with epithelial flap after keratectomy. We examed the effect of corneal epithelial flap on the wound healing of canine cornea. Methods: Operation was performed in eyes from 12 dogs, and the eyes were recovered with epithelial flap or not. Wound healing process was compared using fluorescein staining, light and transmission electron microscopic examination. Results: Fluorescein stained area of the cornea was reduced with time in both groups, and from 9 hours after the operation, it was significantly reduced in the group with epithelial flap (P<0.05). On light microscopic examination of the group with epithelial flap, nealy no intercellular space between the stroma and epithelial flap, and normal epithelial structure were found at 24 and 48 hours, respectively. However, in the group without epithelial flap, new epithelium with only 2-3 cell layers was found at center and no complete reepithelialization was occured at 48 hours after the operation. On transmission electron microscopic examination, eyes of the group with epithelial flap showed hemidesmosomes in the area where epithelial flap was closely contacted with the stroma at 24 hours, and they were completely developed at 48 hours. Whereas, in the group without epithelial flap, hemidesmosomes developed only in the proximal portion but not at the leading edge even at 48 hours. Conclusion: These results suggest that corneal epithelial flap may accelerate the wound healing process of the cornea.
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