98th Annual Meeting DOG 2000

V 732

Corneal Optical Coherence Tomography before and after Phototherapeutic Keratectomy

C. Wirbelauer, C. Scholz*, H. Hoerauf, R. Engelhardt*, R. Birngruber*, H. Laqua

Purpose: Corneal optical coherence tomogrpahie (OCT) allows a precise biomorphometry of the cornea. In this study we evaluated the healing response after phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) with the excimer laser.

Patients and methods: In a controlled clinical study 13 consecutive patients with a recurrent corneal erosion (10) or with other epithelial dystrophies (3) were treated with epithelial debridement and PTK. After a complete ophthalmological examination was performed the cornea was analyzed with a slitlamp-adapted OCT preoperatively, immediately postoperatively, and after 7 weeks. The corneal and epithelial thickness were measured, and subepithelial changes were correlated with the clinical findings.

Results: The mean preoperative central corneal thickness was 535± 27 µm. Immediately postoperatively a reduction to 493± 38 µm, and after 7 weeks an increase to 513± 25 µm was noted. The OCT derived mean epithelial thickness was preoperatively 75± 13 µm and after 7 weeks 62± 6 µm. During the healing period subepithelial haze correlated in some cases with an increase in OCT reflectivity in the anterior stroma.

Conclusions: OCT proved to be a promising diagnostic modality to monitor corneal changes before and after PTK. Thus, this technique enables a precise representation of the healing processes after phototherapeutic and photorefractive procedures.

Augenklinik der Medizinischen Universität zu Lübeck;
* Medizinisches Laserzentrum Lübeck GmbH