Corneal haze induced by excimer laser photoablation in rabbit is reduced by preserved human amniotic membrane graft

Ming X. Wang, Trevor Gray, Pinnita Prabhasawat, Xiong Ma, William Culbertson, Richard Forster, Khalil Hanna, Scheffer Tseng

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


We conducted a study to determine if preserved human amniotic membrane can reduce corneal haze induced by excimer laser photoablation, Excimer photoablation was performed bilaterally on 40 New Zealand white rabbits with a 6 mm ablation zone and 120 um depth (PTK) using the VISX Star. One eye was randomly covered with a preserved human amniotic membrane and secured using four interrupted 10-0) nylon sutures; the other eye served as control. The amniotic membranes were removed at one week, and the corneal haze was graded with a slit-lamp biomicroscopy by three masked corneal specialists (WC, KH and RF) biweekly for the ensuing 12 weeks. Histology and in situ TUNEL staining (for fragmented DNA as an index for apoptosis) was performed at days 1, 3 and 7 and at 12 weeks. One week after excimer photoablation, the amniotic membrane-covered corneas showed more anterior stromal edema, which resolved at the second week. A consistent grading of organized reticular corneal haze was noted among the three masked observers. Such corneal haze peaked at the seventh week in both groups. The amniotic membrane-covered group showed statistically significant less corneal haze (0.50 ± 0.15) than the control groups (1.25 ± 0.35) (p < 0.001). The amniotic membrane-covered corneas had less inflammatory response at days 1 and 3, showing nearly nil DNA fragmentation on keratocytes on the ablated anterior stromal and less stromal fibroblast activation. There is less altered epithelial cell morphology and less epithelial hyperplasia at 1 week in these amniotic membrane-treated eyes. We concluded from this study that amniotic membrane matrix is effective in reducing corneal haze induced by excimer photoablation in rabbits and may have clinical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-119
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of Ophthalmic Technologies VIII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 24 1998Jan 25 1998


  • Amniotic membrane transplantation
  • Apoptosis
  • Corneal haze
  • Corneal wound healing
  • Excimer laser
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Photorefractive keratectomy
  • Phototherapeutic keratectomy
  • Rabbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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