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I Brunette, L R Nelson, W M Bourne; A system for long-term corneal perfusion.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1989;30(8):1813-1822.
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Seventy-two human corneas were maintained in a perfusion system at 37 degrees C and 18 mm Hg intracameral pressure for 1 to 3 weeks. Corneal thickness, which was initially greater than normal because the enucleated eyes were kept at 4 degrees C before excision of the corneas, decreased slowly during the period of incubation. Endothelial removal or perfusion with ouabain (10(-4) M) induced irreversible stromal swelling. Cooling to 4 degrees C for 8 hr during perfusion caused stromal swelling that disappeared after rewarming to 37 degrees C; less stromal swelling occurred with cooling after 3 weeks of perfusion than after 3 days. No enlargement of central endothelial cells was noted in most corneas by serial specular microscopy. Electron microscopy demonstrated reversal of postmortem changes and maintenance of normal intracellular ultrastructure for 3 weeks. This system for long-term corneal perfusion will allow controlled studies of the effects of new methods of corneal preservation and other perturbations upon the corneal endothelium in situ.
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