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Laser-induced corneal cross-linking upon photorefractive ablation with riboflavin

Authors Kornilovskiy I, Kasimov E, Sultanova A, Burtsev A

Received 1 December 2015

Accepted for publication 31 December 2015

Published 1 April 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 587—592

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S101632

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Jie Zhang

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Igor M Kornilovskiy,1 Elmar M Kasimov,2 Ayten I Sultanova,2 Alexander A Burtsev1

1Department of Eye Diseases, Federal State Budgetary Institution “National Pirogov Medical Surgical Centre”, Ministry of Health, Moscow, Russia; 2Department of Eye Diseases, Zarifa Aliyeva National Ophthalmology Center, Ministry of Health, Baku, Azerbaijan

Aim: To estimate the biomechanical effect of the laser-induced cross-linking resulting from photorefractive ablation of the cornea with riboflavin.
Methods: Excimer laser ablation studies were performed ex vivo (32 eyes of 16 rabbits) by phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) and in vivo (24 eyes of 12 rabbits) by transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (TransPRK), with and without riboflavin saturation of the stroma. Then, we performed corneal optical coherence tomography on 36 eyes of 18 patients with varying degrees of myopia at different times after the TransPRK was performed with riboflavin saturation of the stroma.
Results: Biomechanical testing of corneal samples saturated with riboflavin revealed cross-linking effect accompanied by the increase in tensile strength and maximum strength. PTK showed increase in tensile strength from 5.1±1.4 to 7.2±1.6 MPa (P=0.001), while TransPRK showed increase in tensile strength from 8.8±0.9 to 12.8±1.3 MPa (P=0.0004). Maximum strength increased from 8.7±2.5 to 12.0±2.8 N (P=0.005) in PTK and from 12.8±1.6 to 18.3±1.2 N (P=0.0004) in TransPRK. Clinical optical coherence tomography studies of the biomicroscopic transparent cornea at different times after TransPRK showed increased density in the surface layers of the stroma and membrane-like structure beneath the epithelium.
Conclusion: Photorefractive ablation of the preliminary corneal stroma saturation with riboflavin causes the effect of laser-induced cross-linking, which is attended with an increase in corneal tensile strength, maximum strength, increased density in the surface layers of the stroma, and formation of a membrane-like structure beneath the epithelium after TransPRK.

Keywords: corneal cross-linking, photorefractive ablation of cornea, riboflavin

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