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Induction of corneal collagen cross-linking in experimental corneal alkali burns in rabbits

Indução de ligações covalentes de colágeno em queimaduras corneanas experimentais por álcali em coelhos

Marcello Colombo-Barboza Guilherme Colombo-Barboza Sergio Felberg Paulo Elias Corrêa Dantas Elcio Hideo Sato About the authors

Objective:

To evaluate the effect of riboflavin-ultraviolet-A-induced cross-linking (CXL) following corneal alkali burns in rabbits.

Methods:

The right corneas and limbi of ten rabbits were burned using a 1N solution of NaOH and the animals were then divided into two groups: a control group submitted to clinical treatment alone and an experimental group that was treated 1 h after injury with CXL, followed by the same clinical treatment as administered to the controls. Clinical parameters were evaluated post-injury at 1, 7, 15, and 30 days by two independent observers. Following this evaluation, the corneas were excised and examined histologically.

Results:

There were no statistically significant differences in clinical parameters, such as hyperemia, corneal edema, ciliary injection, limbal ischemia, secretion, corneal neovascularization, symblepharon, or blepharospasm, at any of the time-points evaluated. However, the size of the epithelial defect was significantly smaller in the CXL group (p<0.05) (day 15: p=0.008 and day 30: p=0.008) and the extent of the corneal injury (opacity lesion) was also smaller (day 30: p=0.021). Histopathology showed the presence of collagen bridges linking the collagen fibers in only the CXL group.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that the use of CXL may improve the prognosis of acute corneal alkali burns.

Cross-linking reagents; Riboflavin; Ultraviolet therapy/methods; Cornea/ drug effects; Rabbits; Animal


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