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Manmohan Singh, Jiasong Li, Zhaolong Han, Srilatha Vantipalli, Chih-Hao Liu, Chen Wu, Raksha Raghunathan, Salavat R. Aglyamov, Michael D. Twa, Kirill V. Larin; Evaluating the Effects of Riboflavin/UV-A and Rose-Bengal/Green Light Cross-Linking of the Rabbit Cornea by Noncontact Optical Coherence Elastography. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(9):OCT112-OCT120. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-18888.
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The purpose of this study was to use noncontact optical coherence elastography (OCE) to evaluate and compare changes in biomechanical properties that occurred in rabbit cornea in situ after corneal collagen cross-linking by either of two techniques: ultraviolet-A (UV-A)/riboflavin or rose-Bengal/green light.
Low-amplitude (≤10 μm) elastic waves were induced in mature rabbit corneas by a focused air pulse. Elastic wave propagation was imaged by a phase-stabilized swept source OCE (PhS-SSOCE) system. Corneas were then cross-linked by either of two methods: UV-A/riboflavin (UV-CXL) or rose-Bengal/green light (RGX). Phase velocities of the elastic waves were fitted to a previously developed modified Rayleigh-Lamb frequency equation to obtain the viscoelasticity of the corneas before and after the cross-linking treatments. Micro-scale depth-resolved phase velocity distribution revealed the depth-wise heterogeneity of both cross-linking techniques.
Under standard treatment settings, UV-CXL significantly increased the stiffness of the corneas by ∼47% (P < 0.05), but RGX did not produce statistically significant increases. The shear viscosities were unaffected by either cross-linking technique. The depth-wise phase velocities showed that UV-CXL affected the anterior ∼34% of the corneas, whereas RGX affected only the anterior ∼16% of the corneas.
UV-CXL significantly strengthens the cornea, whereas RGX does not, and the effects of cross-linking by UV-CXL reach deeper into the cornea than cross-linking effects of RGX under similar conditions.
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