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Nada H. Aldahlawi, Sally Hayes, David P. S. O'Brart, Alina Akhbanbetova, Stacy L. Littlechild, Keith M. Meek; Enzymatic Resistance of Corneas Crosslinked Using Riboflavin in Conjunction With Low Energy, High Energy, and Pulsed UVA Irradiation Modes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(4):1547-1552. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-18769.
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To investigate the effect of various riboflavin/ultraviolet light (UVA) crosslinking (CXL) protocols on corneal enzymatic resistance.
A total of 66 enucleated porcine eyes, with the corneal epithelium removed, were divided into 6 groups. Group 1 remained untreated. Groups 2 to 6 received riboflavin/dextran for 30 minutes. Group 3 underwent standard CXL (SCXL) with 3 mW/cm2 UVA for 30 minutes (total energy dose 5.4 J/cm2). Groups 4 and 5 underwent high intensity CXL (HCXL) using 30 mW/cm2 UVA for 3 minutes (5.4 J/cm2) and 30 mW/cm2 for 4 minutes (7.2 J/cm2), respectively. Group 6 was exposed to 8 minutes of 30 mW/cm2 UVA in a 10-second on/10-second off pulsed-radiation mode (p-HCXL; 7.2 J/cm2). A central 8-mm disk from each cornea was submerged in pepsin digest solution at 23°C and measured daily. After 13 days, the dry weight was recorded from 5 samples in each group.
The CXL-treated corneas took longer to digest than nonirradiated corneas (P < 0.0001). Differences in digestion time also were observed between CXL groups, such that, HCXL (5.4 J/cm2) < SCXL (5.4 J/cm2) < HCXL (7.2 J/cm2) < p-HCXL (7.2 J/cm2; P < 0.0001). The dry weight of the SCXL (5.4 J/cm2) group was higher than the HCXL (5.4 and 7.2 J/cm2; P < 0.001) and p-HCXL 7.2 J/cm2 (P <0.05) groups. No difference was detected between the HCXL and p-HCXL 7.2 J/cm2 groups.
The intensity and distribution of the crosslinks formed within the cornea vary with different UVA protocols. The precise location and amount of crosslinking needed to prevent disease progression is unknown.
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