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Subbasal nerve fiber regeneration after LASIK and LASEK assessed by noncontact esthesiometry and in vivo confocal microscopy: prospective study

Darwish, Taym, Brahma, Arun, O'Donnell, Clare, & Efron, Nathan (2007) Subbasal nerve fiber regeneration after LASIK and LASEK assessed by noncontact esthesiometry and in vivo confocal microscopy: prospective study. Journal Of Cataract And Refractive Surgery, 33(9), pp. 1515-1521.

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To evaluate recovery of the corneal subbasal nerve plexus and corneal sensitivity after myopic laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK). SETTING: Manchester Centre for Vision, Royal Eye Hospital, Manchester, United Kingdom. METHODS: Thirty LASEK patients and 20 LASIK patients had slit-scanning confocal microscopy and noncontact corneal esthesiometry preoperatively and 1, 3, and 6 months after surgery. Images of the subbasal nerve plexus were analyzed using customized software to evaluate nerve regeneration. RESULTS: Central corneal sensitivity decreased significantly 1 month after LASEK and LASIK and returned to normal levels after 3 months. Corneal subbasal nerve fiber density, nerve branch density, nerve fiber length, and nerve fiber width decreased significantly 1 month after LASIK and had not returned to the preoperative levels by 6 months. Nerve fiber tortuosity decreased significantly 1 month after LASEK and returned to the preoperative levels 3 months after surgery. There were no significant differences in nerve fiber tortuosity before and after LASIK. Neither corneal sensitivity nor nerve fiber morphology was different between the 2 groups at any postoperative visit. CONCLUSIONS: Corneal sensitivity and subbasal nerve morphology were adversely affected by LASEK and LASIK. Corneal sensitivity recovered 3 months after the procedure, but subbasal nerves were still abnormal after 6 months. Despite the different forms of surgical trauma to corneal nerves with LASIK and LASEK, there was no apparent difference in the time course of recovery of corneal structure and function.

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ID Code: 11280
Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal's website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2007.05.023
ISSN: 0886-3350
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 Elsevier
Deposited On: 20 Dec 2007
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 23:40

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