Abstract Objective: To compare the effects of blowing dry (nitrogen or helium) and humidified gases over the corneal surface during photorefractive keratectomy. Methods: Excimer laser myopic ablations were performed on porcine eyes (10 per group) using humidified and dry nitrogen and helium gas under ambient conditions. Surface smoothness was quantified with light and electron microscopy. Results: Corneas that were ablated using humidified gas were smooth and equivalent to those ablated under ambient conditions. Dry nitrogen and helium blowing resulted in increased surface irregularity evident on light and electron microscopy (P<.001). The pseudomembranes in the humidified gas and ambient air groups had fewer surface discontinuities than did those in the nonhumidified gas groups and appeared to have a thinner electron-dense surface layer. Conclusions: The blowing of humidified gas during excimer laser corneal ablation produces a smoother surface than does the blowing of dry gas and is comparable to that produced under ambient (no blowing) conditions. Maintaining corneal moisture is important in photorefractive keratectomy. If blowing gas is necessary to remove debris from the surface, the gas should be humidified. References 1. Puliafito CA, Stern D, Krueger RR, Mandel ER. High-speed photography of excimer laser ablation of the cornea . Arch Ophthalmol . 1987;105:1255-1259.Crossref 2. Campos M, Cuevas K, Garbus J, Lee M, McDonnell PJ. Corneal wound healing after excimer laser ablation: effects of nitrogen gas blower . Ophthalmology . 1992;99:893-897.Crossref 3. Krueger RR, Krasinski JS, Radzewicz C, Stonecipher KG, Rowsey JJ. Photography of shock waves during excimer laser ablation of the cornea: effect of helium gas on propagation velocity. Cornea. In press. 4. Kahle G, Städter H, Seiler T, Wollensak J. Gas chromatographic and mass spectroscopic analysis of excimer and erbium: yttrium aluminum garnet laserablated human cornea . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1992;33:2180-2184. 5. Seiler T, Kriegerowski M, Schnoy N, Bende T. Ablation rate of human corneal epithelium and Bowman's layer with the excimer laser (193 nm) . Refract Corneal Surg . 1990;6:99-102. 6. Waring GO Ill. Development of a system for excimer laser corneal surgery . Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc . 1989;87:854-983. 7. Gordon M, Brint SF, Durrie DS, et al. Photorefractive keratectomy at 193 nm using an erodible mask . In: Parel JM, ed. Ophthalmic Technologies II . Bellingham, Wash: SPIE; 1992:11-19. 8. Del Pero RA, Gigstad JE, Roberts AD, et al. A refractive and histopathologic study of excimer laser keratectomy in primates . Am J Ophthalmol . 1990;109:419-429. 9. Parker PJ, Klyce SD, Ryan BL, et al. Central topographic islands following photorefractive keratectomy . Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci . 1993;34( (suppl) ):803.
Archives of Ophthalmology – American Medical Association
Published: Aug 1, 1993
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