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December 1981

Endothelial Damage After Anterior Radial Keratotomy: An Electron Microscopic Study of Rabbit Cornea

Arch Ophthalmol. 1981;99(12):2151-2158. doi:10.1001/archopht.1981.03930021027009

• Anterior radial keratotomy was performed on the left eyes of 21 rabbits. Specimens were taken for electron microscopic examination at intervals during a three-month period. The corneas were acutely inflamed for three days after surgery. Some endothelial cells beneath the incisions were damaged, and distended intercellular spaces were seen. Deeper incisions seemed to produce more severe damage. With increasing time after surgery, some of the damaged endothelial cells seemed to be recovering, while others in the areas between the incisions and in the center of the cornea were degenerating. Three months after surgery, the endothelium had recovered, but some of the peripheral intercellular spaces still were distended. These findings may be the result of continuous blinking in combination with the structural weakness of the cornea, rather than a result of chronic postsurgical inflammation.