December 2002
Volume 43, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2002
Long-term corneal subbasal nerve recovery after PRK and LASIK
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • T Tervo
    Helsinki Univ Eye Hospital University of Helsinki Helsinki Finland
  • MH Vesaluoma
    Helsinki Univ Eye Hospital University of Helsinki Helsinki Finland
  • JA O Moilanen
    Helsinki Univ Eye Hospital University of Helsinki Helsinki Finland
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   T. Tervo, None; M.H. Vesaluoma, None; J.A.O. Moilanen, None. Grant Identification: Finnish Eye Foundation, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finnish Medical Council
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 2096. doi:
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      T Tervo, MH Vesaluoma, JA O Moilanen; Long-term corneal subbasal nerve recovery after PRK and LASIK . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):2096.

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

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Abstract: : Purpose: To characterize and compare regeneration of corneal subbasal nerves after PRK and LASIK. Methods: The patients were examined clinically and their corneas by in vivo confocal microscopy two years after LASIK (14 eyes of 14 patients; mean age 35.5, 9 women, 5 men, mean correction -9.9 D, range -6.6 - -13.9 D) and five years after PRK (14 eyes of 14 patients; mean age 40.1, 5 women, 9 men, mean correction -4.6 D, range -2.5 - -8.0 D). Nine healthy unoperated individuals served as controls (mean age 39.0, 4 women, 5 men). Results: The number of regenerated subbasal nerve fiber bundles was 3.6 +/- 2.1 (range 1-8) after LASIK, 4.2 +/- 2.1 (range 1-7) after PRK, and 4.9 +/- 1.1 (range 3-6) in the control group; insignificantly lower subbasal nerve density was observed after LASIK (p=0.055, Mann-Whitney) and PRK (p=0.562) compared to controls. In the LASIK group the nerves showed branching and interconnections almost comparable with the control group. In the PRK group the subbasal nerves appeared at the same level with the most anterior keratocytes and showed less branching. The mean epithelial thickness (µm) was 61.9 +/- 5.1, 51.5 +/- 4.0, and 50.7 +/- 3.5 in LASIK, PRK, and control group, respectively. The mean corneal thickness (µm) was 471.4 +/- 36.0, 494.1 +/- 40.6, and 526.8 +/- 24.7, respectively. Two patients in the LASIK group and one patient in the PRK group had BCVA of 20/25, the others showed 20/20 or better. Four PRK corneas showed a trace of haze, the rest were clinically devoid of haze. There was no haze in the LASIK group but 13/14 flaps presented with microfolds. Conclusion: The subbasal nerve morphology appeared mildly altered in the PRK group possibly due to altered/absent Bowman´s layer. The number of nerve fiber bundles showed no differences after PRK or LASIK. Faint haze sometimes complicates PRK, whereas microfolds are found in most LASIK corneas.

Keywords: 546 refractive surgery: comparative studies • 552 refractive surgery: PRK • 548 refractive surgery: LASIK 

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