December 2002
Volume 43, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2002
Role of Keratocyte Loss on Corneal Haze and Regrowth Following LASIK
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • T Moller-Pedersen
    Dept of Ophthalmology Aarhus University Hospital Aarhus Denmark
  • A Ivarsen
    Dept of Ophthalmology Aarhus University Hospital Aarhus Denmark
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   T. Moller-Pedersen, None; A. Ivarsen, None.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 4232. doi:
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      T Moller-Pedersen, A Ivarsen; Role of Keratocyte Loss on Corneal Haze and Regrowth Following LASIK . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):4232.

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

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Abstract: : Purpose: To investigate whether a massive keratocyte loss intensifies post-LASIK wound repair. Methods: Thirty rabbits received either a -9 D conventional LASIK or LASIK combined with a 7-mm central epithelial denudation (LASIK-Scrape). Two corneas from each group were vitally stained with DTAF to allow detection of newly deposited tissue. During a four-month period, the central cornea was evaluated using slit-lamp and quantitative in vivo confocal microscopy. At various timepoints, corneas were processed for histology and stained for nuclei, f-actin, ED-A fibronectin, and α-smooth muscle actin. Results: No keratocyte loss was observed following LASIK, whereas LASIK-Scrape (by week one) induced a complete loss of cells in the anterior 115 µm stroma. Until week six, the subsequent repopulation increased stromal light reflectivity (haze) up to 2300 U, in contrast to the minimal haze (145 U) observed during the first three weeks post-LASIK. LASIK was associated with a 12 ± 4 µm stromal regrowth as compared to 20 ± 10 µm following LASIK-Scrape (p = 0.13). Stromal regrowth occurred only within the first six weeks post-surgery. No central myofibroblast transformation was detected following any of the two procedures, and deposition of less than 10 µm new matrix was observed at the interface. Conclusion: Conventional LASIK does not lead to keratocyte loss or haze development, but induces limited stromal regrowth during the first six weeks post-surgery. Additional induction of a massive keratocyte loss results in a temporary increase in stromal haze due to cellular repopulation. However, the intensity of stromal wound repair, as determined by the amount of stromal regrowth, seems to be unaffected.

Keywords: 548 refractive surgery: LASIK • 631 wound healing • 374 cornea: stroma and keratocytes 

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