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X. Zhu, R.W. Beuerman, Z.Y. Cheng, L.P. K. Ang, D.T. H. Tan; Kinetic Analysis of Conjunctival Epithelial Wound Healing in the Rabbit Model . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2005;46(13):4247.
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Purpose: To determine the process of conjunctival epithelial wound healing in the rabbit eye and establish an experimental baseline for evaluating the wound recovery process in ocular surface regeneration. Methods: Circular 4 and 5 mm diameter wounds were mechanically created over the upper quadrant of the conjunctiva in the rabbit eye. A total of 12 rabbit eyes were assessed, with 4 mm wounds in 6 eyes and 5mm wounds in 6 eyes. Kinetic analysis of conjunctival epithelial wound healing was monitored by sequential slit–lamp examinations with fluorescein staining. Wound area (mm2/day) was measured by topographic templates and digitized with image analysis software. The record of wound closure assessment was performed at 48 hour intervals until full re–epithelisation was noted. Results: Wound healing of the conjunctival defects was noted to be rapid and complete in all cases. A consistent initial 24 hour latent phase in defect closure was noted immediately following surgery, in which minimal wound closure occurred. Thereafter, wound closure proceeded linearly at a relatively rapid pace over 2 to 5 days, suggesting a secondary linear healing phase. The healing rate of epithelia in this linear phase was 3.16 +/– 0.17 mm2 per day. Similar latent and linear phases were found in both 4 mm and 5mm defect study groups. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that conjunctival wound healing in the rabbit eye occurs as a biphasic process similar to what has been previously reported in corneal wound healing. This process did not appear to be influenced by initial wound size. This animal model of conjunctival wound healing provides a consistent baseline for studies on conjunctival and ocular surface wound healing.
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