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May 1990

Wound Healing After Excimer Laser Keratomileusis (Photorefractive Keratectomy) in Monkeys

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University School of Medicine and the Yerkes Regional Primate Center, Atlanta, Ga (Drs Fantes, Hanna, Waring, and Thompson), and INSERM Unit 86, Paris, France (Dr Pouliquen and Ms Savoldelli).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(5):665-675. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070070051034

• Laser myopic keratomileusis (photorefractive keratectomy) was performed on 29 rhesus monkey corneas with an argon fluoride (193-nm) excimer laser and a computer-controlled, moving slit delivery system. The 4-mm-diameter central ablation zone ranged in depth from 11 μm (-2 diopters effect) to 46 μm (-8 diopters effect). Corneas were studied for the 9 months postoperatively by clinical slit-lamp microscopy, and periodically with light and transmission electron microscopy. By 6 weeks, mild to moderate subepithelial haze was apparent in 93% of the corneas, with considerable variability in density. Progressive clearing occurred so that by 6 to 9 months 12 of 13 surviving corneas (92%) were either completely clear (4 corneas) or trace hazy (8 corneas). The epithelium was thickened at 21 days after ablation and returned to normal thickness by 3 months. At 3 weeks, subepithelial fibroblasts were three times the density of normal keratocytes and returned to nearly normal numbers by 9 months. We concluded that the anterior monkey cornea demonstrated a mild, typical wound healing response after excimer laser keratomileusis.

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