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September 1990

Immunofluorescence Study of Corneal Wound Healing After Excimer Laser Anterior Keratectomy in the Monkey Eye

Author Affiliations

From the Laser Research Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, and the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(9):1316-1322. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070110132037

• We performed anterior keratectomies on six monkey eyes, four by excimer laser large-area ablation at 193 nm and two by mechanical keratectomy. Immunofluorescence was used to study the wound healing response histopathologically. The distribution of fibrinogen, fibronectin, laminin, collagen types III, IV, and VI, and keratan sulfate was determined at postoperative intervals of 24 hours, 6 days, and 1 month. At 24 hours, fibrinogen and fibronectin coated the ablated surface, but corneal epithelial cells had not yet migrated over the wound. By 6 days and persisting at 1 month, an epithelial ingrowth of seven to 10 layers, mild stromal hypercellularity, and new collagen formation were present in the repair region. At 1 month, fibrinogen, fibronectin, laminin, and type III collagen were strongly detected in the repair region. Type VI collagen was present in both normal and healed corneal stroma at all intervals, and type IV collagen was present in Descemet's membrane only. Sulfated keratan sulfate was absent from the newly synthesized collagen stroma at all intervals. Slit-lamp photographs demonstrated corneal haze in the ablation zone in all cases at 24 hours, persisting for 1 month. The fluorescence patterns produced by excimer laser ablation and mechanical keratectomy were qualitatively identical.

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