Laser-Treated Corneas Found Suitable for Donor Tissue

No long-term change noted in age-related cell loss between treated and untreated corneas
By Rick Ansorge
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) are not likely associated with any significant long-term effect on the corneal endothelium, and may be used as donor tissue, according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Sanjay V. Patel, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and a colleague studied 29 eyes (16 patients) treated with LASIK or PRK. A masked investigator analyzed central endothelial photographs which were taken pre-surgery and again nine years post-surgery.

Nine years after LASIK and PRK, the researchers found that endothelial cell density decreased by 5.3 percent, but observed no changes in coefficient of variation of cell area and percentage of hexagonal cells. They also found that there was no difference in the mean annual rate of cell loss between LASIK and PRK patients (0.6 percent) and subjects who did not undergo refractive surgery (0.6 percent).

"LASIK and PRK had no long-term effect on the corneal endothelium. Corneas that have undergone LASIK or PRK can be considered for use as donors for posterior lamellar keratoplasty procedures," the authors write.

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