Volume 56 (2006) Issue: 2006 No#1

Prevention of stromal cell loss after superfitial corneal injury in rabbits

Author(s): Misailović Katarina, Risović Dušica, Dujić Mirjana

Keywords:cornea, keratocyte, heparin, contact lens

For the study of the effects of trauma on the cornea, usually a rabbit eye is used as a model. The aim of this experimental study of corneal surface injury was to evaluate stromal cell loss after epithelial scraping and to indicate the possibilities of preventing it by applying contact lenses or topical heparin. The study was conducted on 21 Chinchilla gray rabbits, which were divided into five groups. The central portion measuring 6mm of corneal epithelium was removed from one eye of 18 experimental animals. Three rabbits in the fifth group, with intact corneas, served as controls. Postoperatively, the first experimental group (n=3) was treated for 24 hours with topically applied heparin. The second group (n=3) was treated for seven days with subconjunctivally applied heparin. In the third group, (n=6) soft contact lenses were placed for five days. The fourth group of (n=6), has not been treated after injury. During the first postoperative day, anterior stromal keratocytes were lost after epithelial removal, but the cell repopulation was completed within two weeks. Twenty four hours after deepithelization the corneas showed decreased density of keratocytes within the anterior stroma compared with the posterior storma. Topically applied heparin for 24 hours after deepithelization prevented keratocyte loss (p<0.05). Subconjunctivally applied heparin for 7 days after deepithelization did not show a statistically significant influence on the number of keratocytes (p>0.05). The eyes treated with contact lenses had a significantly higher number of keratocytes than the control corneas and corneas treated with heparin. We were able to conclude that topical application of heparin during the first day and contact lens application during the first week, can minimize keratocyte loss and may thus be beneficial in the healing process.


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ISSN: 0567-8315

eISSN: 1820-7448

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