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ABSTRACT: To evaluate the irregularity of the posterior corneal surface and intrastromal dissection during the preparation of donor tissue for Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) using a curved interface femtosecond laser and microkeratome.
Sixteen human donor corneas unsuitable for transplantation were divided into two groups: a femtosecond (FS) laser group (n=7) using the VisuMax femtosecond laser (Carl Zeiss Meditec) and a microkeratome group (n=9) using the Amadeus II microkeratome (Ziemer Ophthalmic Group). The corneas were fixed on artificial anterior chambers. Horizontal cross-sections were obtained using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography prior to applanation, during applanation, as well as during and after intrastromal dissection at 450-μm corneal depth. The posterior surface and the dissection line were evaluated for irregularity by fitting a second-order polynomial curve using regression analysis and obtaining the root-mean-square error (RMSE). Groups were compared using analysis of variance.
The RMSE of the posterior surface prior to applanation was 9.7 ± 3.1 μm in the FS laser group and 10.2 ± 2.3 μm in the microkeratome group. The RMSE increased to 50.7 ± 9.4 μm and 20.9 ± 6.1 μm during applanation and decreased again to 10.6 ± 1.4 μm and 8.1 ± 1.8 μm after applanation in the FS laser and microkeratome groups, respectively. The RMSE of the intrastromal cut was 19.5 ± 5.7 μm in the FS laser group and 7.7 ± 3.0 μm in the microkeratome group (P<.001).
Our results show significantly greater irregularity with the curved interface femtosecond laser-assisted cleavage compared to microkeratome-assisted corneal dissection, possibly due to applanation-derived deformation of the posterior cornea.
Journal of refractive surgery (Thorofare, N.J.: 1995) 03/2012; 28(3):209-14. · 2.78 Impact Factor