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C Stangogiannis, E Stangogiannis, M Orellana, I Pifano, A Behrens; Epithelial Promoting Agents vs. Autologous Serum in Corneal Reepithelialization After Experimental Mechanical Debridement In Vivo . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1680.
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Purpose: To compare the changes in corneal epithelial cell proliferation using different agents to promote reepithelialization after corneal mechanical debridement. Methods: A total of 18 white New Zealand female rabbits were randomly grouped into three series (A,B,C; n=6). A central circular (7.2 mm diameter) corneal mechanical epithelial defect was created bilaterally, using a trephine, alcohol 70% and a beaver blade. After the surgery, topical treatment was applied as follows: A (Hydroxipropylmethylcellulose 2%), B (Artificial Tears), C (Autologous serum 100%) at 0, 1, 4 h and then every 6 h for 3 days in the right eye of each rabbit. Saline solution was instilled in the left eyes as controls. Digital photography was taken at similar time-points with topical sodium fluorescein, and epithelial defect was measured by means of a digital imaging software. Histology was performed with both light and transmission electron microscopy. Results: In group C, the epithelial defect at hours 4 and 10 was statistically smaller compared to controls (P=0.005 and P=0.028, respectively), and in group B at hour 4 (P=0.017). The regression analysis showed a trend towards an increased reepithelialization rate in group C, however, this was not statistically significant (P=0.064). The quantitative analysis of the mean keratocyte counts at the anterior stromal third showed a higher cellularity (P<0.006) in groups C (4.561.499), B (4.381.466), and A (3.962.009), compared to controls (2.861.589). At light and transmission electron microscopy, the cell phenotype and ultrastructural architecture showed similar appearance in all groups. Conclusions: The undiluted autologous serum is at least as effective as regular lubricating agents in promoting corneal reepithelialization after mechanical epithelial removal in this model.
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