Unsuccessful Excimer Laser Phototherapeutic Keratectomy: Clinicopathologic Correlation

Jan M. McDonnell, Jenny J. Garbus, Peter J McDonnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 46-year-old man underwent phototherapeutic keratectomy with a 193-nm excimer laser in an attempt to remove a superficial corneal scar that had been present for 36 years. The scar proved to be resistant to ablation with the laser, while relatively normal stroma was easily ablated. Histopathologic examination of the corneal button removed 3 months after excimer laser surgery revealed absence of Bowman's membrane in the area of ablation, superficial stromal disorganization and scarring, raised nodules of collagenous tissue extending into the epithelium, and no calcification within the lesion. Ultrastructural examination was remarkable for irregularly oriented collagen fibers within the scar. The resistance of this lesion to excimer laser ablation appears to have been the consequence of marked differences in rates of ablation between normal stroma and the very longstanding scar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)977-979
Number of pages3
JournalArchives of Ophthalmology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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