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B. D. Furlani, A. J. Cariello, A. Forseto, G. C. Oliveira, F. P. Benedicto, M. Lowen, W. Nose, J. A. P. Gomes; Experimental Model of Epithelialization of the Anterior Chamber in Rabbits. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):791.
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To develop an experimental model of epithelialization of the anterior chamber in rabbits.
Six male albino rabbits were used in this experiment. An epithelial corneal flap (including limbus) of 5 x 10 mm was prepared and inserted into the anterior chamber in the same eye (OD). The graft was positioned over the endothelium with the aid of an air bubble. Slit-lamp biomicroscopy and confocal microscopy were performed before, one and two weeks after the surgical procedure. After two weeks, all animals were euthanised and both eyes were enucleated and prepared for histological studies.
On the slit-lamp examination it was possible to identify the conjunctival graft placed over the posterior cornea in five of the six animals. One animal (# 6) developed ocular hypertension and buphthalmos during the first week after the surgery. All the animals developed localized corneal edema that made the confocal microscopy analysis difficult. In one animal (# 3) the confocal microscopy identified a sheet of epithelial cells adhered to endothelium after two weeks. Histological analyses showed an epithelial membrane covering endothelium in all animals.
The experimental model described herein allowed us to develop a model of epithelialization of the anterior chamber in rabbit eye. Confocal image analysis was not a helpful ancillary exam in this model due to secondary corneal edema. With histological analysis this experimental model may be used in future studies searching for new therapies to treat this devastating condition.
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