The use of confocal microscopy in evaluating corneal wound healing after excimer laser keratectomy

John P. Essepian, Rajesh K. Rajpal, Dimitri T. Azar, Kent New, Robin Antonacci, William Shields, Walter J. Stark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Corneal wound healing following excimer laser keratectomy is the major cause of regression of treatment results. The amount of anterior strorhal haze that develops may be influenced by topical medications. Over a period of 6 months, we followed 15 New Zealand white rabbit eyes that underwent excimer laser keratectomy with the VISX 193‐nm ArF laser at a fluence of 150 mJ/cm2 for a depth of 130 μm. Eyes were randomized to treatment with prednisolone acetate, diclofenac sodium (Voltaren), a combination of both, and a control group. Drops were administered four times a day for 1 week, two times a day for 3 weeks, and the drops were then tapered. All eyes were reepithelialized by 5 to 7 days. The tandem scanning confocal microscope (TSCM) was used to evaluate the corneal wound in vivo weekly for a month and monthly for 6 months. During the early postoperative period, the TSCM revealed significant anterior stromal keratocyte activation with cell elongation and the spindle‐shaped appearance of fibroblasts in all groups. Collagenous stromal scarring was evident initially, then slowly decreased in all treatment groups. This study shows that TSCM is clinically useful for successive in vivo examinations of corneal wounds after excimer laser keratectomy and for comparing the effects of various topical medications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-304
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • corneal wound healing
  • excimer laser
  • haze
  • tandem scanning confocal microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation


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