April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Epithelial Ingrowth After Lasik/altk: An Immunohistological Study Of 4 Cases. Do Epithelial Inclusions Grow From Trapped Corneal Stem-like Cells?
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Michael J. Nicolas
    Laboratoire de Recherche, Hosp Ophthalmique Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Manuel P. Deprez
    Ophtalmology, Hopital Jules Gonin, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Hana Abouzeid
    Ophthalmology, Jules-Gonin Eye Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Alexandre P. Moulin
    Pathology, Ophthalmology, Jules Gonin Eye Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Farhad Hafezi
    IROC, Zurich, Switzerland
  • Francois Majo
    Ophthalmology, Jules Gonin Eye-Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Michael J. Nicolas, None; Manuel P. Deprez, None; Hana Abouzeid, None; Alexandre P. Moulin, None; Farhad Hafezi, None; Francois Majo, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 279. doi:
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      Michael J. Nicolas, Manuel P. Deprez, Hana Abouzeid, Alexandre P. Moulin, Farhad Hafezi, Francois Majo; Epithelial Ingrowth After Lasik/altk: An Immunohistological Study Of 4 Cases. Do Epithelial Inclusions Grow From Trapped Corneal Stem-like Cells?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):279.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To characterize the clinical, morphological and immunohistological features of epithelial ingrowth cells after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or Automated Lamellar Therapeutic Keratoplasty (ALTK) with specific reference to current markers of corneal stem cells.

Methods: : Four patients were included in this interventional non-comparative case series. Full ophthalmologic examination was performed. Epithelial ingrowth specimens from 4 patients were removed surgically and immunostained for cytokeratin 3 (CK3), cytokeratin 15 (CK15), cytokeratin 19 (CK19), Muc5AC, p63α, C/EBPΔ, Bmi-1, BCRP/ABCG2 and Ki-67.

Results: : The time interval between LASIK/ALTK and ingrowth surgical removal was, 3, 11, 15 and 36 months. On slit lamp examination, early epithelial ingrowth appeared as whitish pearls and late epithelial ingrowth as confluent whitish opacities. Microscopically, the epithelial ingrowths showed features of a squamous non keratinizing epithelium. No mitotic figure was seen. Ki-67 labelling of 3 cases showed a proliferation index of 3-4%. Superficial squamous cells strongly expressed CK3. Expression of C/EBPΔ, BCRP/ABCG2 and p63α was seen in more than 70% of cells and Bmi-1 was positive in up to 30% of cells in the specimens tested. There was no expression of CK19 or CK15.

Conclusions: : Epithelial ingrowths can persist for up to 3 years following LASIK surgery. They show a capacity for self-renewal and corneal differentiation. Besides, they express p63α, C/EBPΔ, Bmi-1, BCRP/ABCG2 which have been proposed as markers of stem cell phenotype. These observations suggest that post-LASIK/ALTK epithelial inclusions could derive from stem-like cells located in the peripheral corneal epithelium.

Keywords: cornea: epithelium • immunohistochemistry • refractive surgery 

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