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F M Polack, A Sugar; The phacoemulsification procedure. II. Corneal endothelial changes.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1976;15(6):458-469. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The effect of phacoemulsification, with the Cavitron-Kelman instrument, on the corneal endothelium of rabbit and cats was studied by scanning electron microscopy and nitroblue tetrazolium staining. The various steps of the procedure were examined separately. Irrigation of the anterior chamber of the eye with balanced salt solution (Plasma-Lyte) for ten minutes caused no cell damage. Ultrasound and irrigation alone for four to six minutes caused increased permeability to NBT. Edema of endothelial cells and cell junction disruption occurred after eight minutes of anterior chamber irrigation with Plasma-Lyte. Uncomplicated phacoemulsification produced moderate cellular edema with scattered loss of endothelial cells. Destruction of endothelial cells was frequent after phacoemulsification, it appeared to be due to lens nucleus manipulation in the anterior chamber, instrumentation, and needle contact. From two to five days postoperatively, intercellular edema, altered cell morphology, and mosaic pattern were seen. However, it gradually recovered and seven to ten days later the endothelium appeared normal.
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