Subbasal nerve regeneration after penetrating keratoplasty

Darwish, Taym, Brahma, Arun, Efron, Nathan, & O'Donnell, Clare (2007) Subbasal nerve regeneration after penetrating keratoplasty. Cornea, 26(8), pp. 935-940.


PURPOSE: To evaluate subbasal nerve regeneration, corneal sensitivity, and tear film function after penetrating keratoplasty. METHODS: Twenty keratoplasty patients were assessed before and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after penetrating keratoplasty by using noncontact corneal esthesiometry, tear breakup time measurement, the phenol red thread test, and confocal microscopy. Ten healthy control subjects were also assessed by using these techniques on 1 occasion. Subbasal nerve images were analyzed by using customized software to evaluate nerve regeneration. RESULTS: Before surgery, the subbasal nerve plexus could be imaged only in 11 patients because of the existence of pathology. Significant deficits in nerve morphology were apparent in these patients compared with control subjects. No subbasal nerves were detected over the 12-month postoperative period. Central corneal sensitivity decreased significantly after surgery and returned to near normal levels after 12 months. Tear breakup time was significantly shorter at 3 and 12 months after keratoplasty. There were no significant differences in the phenol red thread test results before and after surgery. CONCLUSIONS: There is no direct association between subbasal nerve fiber regeneration, central corneal sensitivity, and tear film stability and volume. The apparent recovery of corneal sensitivity to normal levels 12 months postoperatively, in the absence of clinically observable subbasal nerves, may be a methodologic phenomenon related to the inability of current-generation confocal microscopes to image fine regenerating nerves that mediate corneal sensibility.

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28 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 11279
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Self-archiving of the author-version is not yet supported by this publisher. For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
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Keywords: keratoplasty, confocal microscopy, esthesiometry, tear film
ISSN: 0277-3740
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Health Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Deposited On: 20 Dec 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:36

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