Noncontact laser photothermal keratoplasty III: Histological study in animal eyes

Q. Ren, G. Simon, J. M. Parel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Laser photothermal keratoplasty has been studied as a potential refractive procedure. The purpose of this study is to investigate the histological response to various laser treatments including geometrical patterns, radiant exposure levels, and pulse numbers. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A noncontact laser photothermal keratoplasty system was used in this study. Epithelial and endothelial response to the laser photothermal keratoplasty annulus treatment pattern were studied on an owl monkey model with a 5- millimeter annulus ring pattern, 8 J/cm2, 25 consecutive pulses at 1 Hz. Epithelial and endothelial response to the laser photothermal keratoplasty spot pattern were then studied and compared on cat and rabbit models for safety monitoring. One pulse and five consecutive pulses of eight different radiant exposures (5.00 J/cm2 to 18.01 J/cm2) were applied on each cornea. A cadaver eye model was used to study the collagen shrinkage induced by the laser spot treatment following the same protocol as the cat and rabbit model. Finally, the biological healing response to the laser photothermal keratoplasty treatment with the optimal laser parameters obtained in our experiment was studied on the cat model. Five cats were treated by the laser photothermal keratoplasty procedure with eight spots on a 3-millimeter ring, 15.6 J/cm2, and 1 pulse. RESULTS: Epithelial and endothelial damage were observed after annulus treatment on an owl monkey's cornea at 8 J/cm2, 25 pulses, and after spot treatment on cat and rabbit corneas at 18.01 J/cm2, five pulses. No endothelial damage was observed on cat corneas for the single pulse treatment at 18.01 J/cm2. For the tissue shrinkage study, no laser photothermal keratoplasty lesion could be detected for a radiant exposure setting below 10.26 J/cm2. Histological cross-sections showed that the five- pulse treatment reached the endothelial layer at a radiant exposure of 13.4 J/cm2, while no single pulse treatment reached the endothelium for the radiant exposure range (5 J/cm2 to 18 J/cm2) studied. The cat model showed that the laser-induced mechanical octagonal stress-lines by collagen shrinkage were maintained after 3 months. The histological sections across the lesion showed a denser keratocyte population indicating scar formation. CONCLUSION: The volume of collagen shrinkage, its location, and its geometrical shape can be accurately and precisely controlled by a 2.10- micrometer Ho:YAG laser coupled to an optical delivery system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Refractive and Corneal Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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