PURPOSE: To evaluate possible changes of the ocular rigidity coefficient in vivo after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in a series of rabbit eyes, using an invasive ocular rigidity measurement device. METHODS: Sixteen eyes of 8 rabbits were used in this study. One eye from each rabbit underwent PRK for -10.00 diopters (D) in a 5-mm optical zone (92 μm) while the fellow eye served as the control. Five weeks later, the rabbits were examined under general anesthesia. The pressure-volume relationship and the ocular rigidity coefficient were determined in all 16 eyes. by injecting 200 μL of saline solution (in increments of 4.5 μL) through the limbus into the anterior chamber, while the intraocular pressure (IOP) was continually monitored with a transducer, up to a maximum limit of 40 mmHg. Data within an IOP range of 10 to 40 mmHg were used to calculate the ocular rigidity coefficient. RESULTS: The preoperative central corneal thickness was comparable (P=.73, paired t test) in the pre-PRK eyes (mean: 347.5±17.11 μm) and control eyes (mean: 349.1±17.46 μm). No statistically significant difference was noted in measured ocular rigidity coefficient between eyes treated with PRK and control eyes (mean rigidity coefficient: 0.42±0.12 mmHg/μL [range: 0.23 to 0.56] and 0.47±0.12 mmHg/μL. [range: 0.28 to 0.62], respectively, with 95% confidence interval of the difference, lower: -0.10 to upper: 0.015. P=.121). CONCLUSIONS: Photorefractive keratectomy did not significantly alter ocular rigidity measurements in this experimental model.
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