Confocal microscopy of corneal stroma and endothelium after LASIK and PRK.

Research paper by Javad J Amoozadeh, Soheil S Aliakbari, Amir-Houshang AH Behesht-Nejad, Mohammad-Amin MA Seyedian, Bijan B Rezvan, Hassan H Hashemi

Indexed on: 17 Nov '09Published on: 17 Nov '09Published in: Journal of refractive surgery (Thorofare, N.J. : 1995)


To compare with confocal microscopy the changes in stromal keratocyte density and endothelial cell count due to photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and LASIK.In this prospective study, 32 eyes (16 myopic patients) were examined with the NIDEK Confoscan 3 confocal microscope before and 6 months after PRK and LASIK. The preoperative mean myopia was -2.85+/-0.99 diopters (D) (range: -1.00 to -4.00 D) in 24 eyes that underwent PRK and -2.94+/-0.96 D (range: -2.00 to -4.25 D) in 8 eyes that underwent LASIK. Keratocyte density in the anterior and posterior stroma and the endothelial cell count were measured. Statistically significant changes were assessed using the t test. P<.05 was considered statistically significant.Preoperative hexagonal cell percentage in the LASIK group was 52.17+/-11.43 and 51.33+/-10.98 in the PRK group. Postoperatively, the percentages were 52.96+/-7.55 and 53.34+/-10.2, respectively. Six months postoperatively, keratocyte density changed by 367.12+/-103.35 cells/mm(2) (34.7% reduction) in the anterior stroma (P<.05) and 9.25+/-28.28 cells/mm(2) (1.31% reduction) in the posterior stroma (P>.05) for the LASIK group. In the PRK group, these values were 319.71+/-83.45 cells/mm(2) (31.13% reduction) in the anterior stroma (P<.05) and 0.17+/-38.97 cells/mm(2) (0.02% reduction) in the posterior stroma (P>.05). The changes in keratocyte densities were not statistically significant between groups (P>.05). The mean number of keratocytes decreased by 37.2% in the retroablation zone of the LASIK group (P<.05). No changes were noted in endothelial cell counts.A significant decrease occurred in the number of stromal keratocytes in the anterior stroma. Despite differences in surgery, the change in keratocyte density and endothelial cell counts were similar between LASIK and PRK groups (P>.05).