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Leonardo Mastropasqua, Manuela Lanzini, Claudia Curcio, Roberta Calienno, Rodolfo Mastropasqua, Martina Colasante, Alessandra Mastropasqua, Mario Nubile; Structural Modifications and Tissue Response After Standard Epi-Off and Iontophoretic Corneal Crosslinking With Different Irradiation Procedures. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(4):2526-2533. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-13363.
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The aim of this study is to investigate modifications in human cadaver corneas after different crosslinking procedures, including standard epi-off treatment, iontophoresis imbibition, and different exposure to ultraviolet A (UVA) sources (30 minutes at 3 mW and 9 minutes at 10 mW).
A total of 12 human cadaver corneas was examined and divided as follows: 3 served as control (group 1), 3 were treated with a standard epi-off procedure (group 2), 6 underwent iontophoresis imbibition for 5 minutes, and then 3 were irradiated for 30 minutes with 3 mW UVA (group 3), and 3 for 9 minutes at 10 mW UVA (group 4). Deformation amplitude index was measured before and after the corneas underwent treatment. After treatment, corneas were prepared for hematoxylin-eosin and immunohistochemistry evaluation. The expression of TUNEL, matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1), collagen type I, and CD34 was investigate in all samples.
The deformation amplitude index decreased in all groups, in particular in group 4, indicating an improvement of corneal biomechanical properties. Immunohistochemical staining showed a significant stromal alteration in group 2, mild damage in group 3, and no modifications in corneal morphology in group 4. The TUNEL (P < 0.001) and MMP-1 (P = 0.002) positivity was more evident in group 4. Collagen type I positivity significantly increased in groups 3 (P = 0.002) and 4 (P = 0.002). The CD34 expression was more evident in groups 2 (P = 0.003) and 3 (P = 0.003).
Iontophoresis imbibition followed by UVA irradiation for 9 minutes at 10 mW determined less tissue damage and better stromal remodeling.
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