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G. F. Cunha, I. Alcalde, S. del Olmo-Aguado, M. Chacon, C. Alvarez, J. Merayo-Lloves; Experimental Model of Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) With Desiccated Cornea in Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):734.
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The aim of this work is to assess the viability of dehydrated cornea to lamellar keratoplasty.
Rabbit corneas were desiccated for 30 days in a vacuum desiccation chamber before the Deep Anterior Lamellar Keratoplasty (DALK) procedure. After re-hydration the cornea for 30 minutes in sterile irrigating solution (BSS), surgeries were performed following a Ferrara’s technique with a modified Ferrara’s spatula and a 6.0 monofilament suture. Rabbits were sacrificed at day 7, 15, 30 and 90 following the lamellar keratoplasty. Outcomes were measured by clinical signs, cell biology (Hematoxylin - eosin, Periodic acid of Schiff and Masson trichrome) and immunohistochemistry (Thy1.1, α-SMA, BrdU, TUJ1).
All animals developed mild conjunctival injection and stromal haze 24 hours postop. No conjunctival injection was detected on evaluation at day 7 with more corneal transparency. Light microscopy demonstrated monolayer of epithelial cells and a stromal infiltration of inflammatory cells with activated keratocytes (α-SMA positive). On day 15 and 30, a multilayer of epithelial cells was present in all corneal surface. Regarding stroma, inflammatory cells were reduced and activated keratocytes and newly formed nerve fibers were present.
Dehydrated cornea could be used for DALK procedures with good integration and viability in the recipient tissue.
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