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December 1988

Noninvasive Metabolic Analysis of Preserved Rabbit Cornea

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Ophthalmology, Boston University School of Medicine (Drs Tsubota, Laing, and Chiba), and Research Eye Institute, Harvard Medical School (Drs Tsubota, Hanninen, and Kenyon), Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1988;106(12):1713-1717. doi:10.1001/archopht.1988.01060140885034

• With the method of corneal redox fluorometry, the autofluorescence of reduced pyridine nucleotides (PN) and oxidized flavoproteins (Fp) in rabbit corneal endothelium was measured as a function of storage time in McCarey-Kaufman (MK) medium and K-Sol medium. Measurements were started immediately after preparation of the corneal button, and the corneas were followed up for up to three weeks of storage. In both media, the PN/Ep ratio of the endothelium initially increased slightly in the first or second day and then began to decrease toward a level lower than baseline. This initial increase is possibly a result of an adaptive mechanism. The PN/Fp ratio maintained itself in the range of baseline values up to one week in MK medium but not in K-Sol medium. With scanning electron microscopy, the surface of the membrane and cell border were maintained for a three-week preservation period, and no apparent differences were found between the corneas stored in the two media. With transmission electron microscopy, the intracellular organelles appeared almost normal through one week of preservation in corneas stored in either media. During weeks 2 and 3, however, intracellular edema with increased endothelial thickness became prominent in the corneas stored in both media. Although no visual difference in the morphological features of the endothelium was apparent between corneas stored in either medium, computer-assisted morphometric analysis showed a statistically significant increase in the coefficient of variation of mean cell area for the corneas preserved in K-Sol medium but not for those preserved in MK medium.

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