Free-running erbium:YAG laser for nonmechanical trephination in penetrating keratoplasty: First results of experimental trephination of human donor corneas

Küchle, M.; Behrens, A.; Seitz, B.; Langenbucher, A.; Naumann, G.O.

Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology 237(10): 875-877

1999


ISSN/ISBN: 0721-832X
PMID: 10502064
DOI: 10.1007/s004170050326
Accession: 010681702

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Abstract
Background: A study was carried out to evaluate the potential suitability of a free-running erbium:YAG 2.94-mum laser for trephination of human corneas in penetrating keratoplasty. Methods: Two human donor corneas were placed in an artificial anterior chamber and moved with an automated rotation device (one rotation per minute). An erbium:YAG laser beam (pulse duration 400 mus, repetition rate 2/s, energy density 2.5 and 15.0 J/cm2) was focused on the outer edge of a round ceramic mask placed on the human donor corneas for ablation of tissue. Results: With a fluence of 15.0 J/cm2, perforation was achieved after 500 pulses. Perpendicular central cut edges with mild stromal ridges and, by light microscopy, a 12 to 45-mum area of stromal thermal effects and focal endothelial changes up to 200 mum central to trephination were observed. Conclusions: The erbium:YAG laser could be a promising "low-cost alternative" to the excimer laser for nonmechanical trephination in penetrating keratoplasty. Further studies will have to focus on reduction of thermal damage and on wound healing.

Free-running erbium:YAG laser for nonmechanical trephination in penetrating keratoplasty: First results of experimental trephination of human donor corneas