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Excimer laser photoablative filtration surgery: histology and ultrastructure in 4 human cadaver eyes

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The purpose of this study was to verify the feasibility of ab externe layer-by-layer excimer laser photoablative removal of limbal tissue down to the trabecular meshwork and to assess the damage caused by this procedure to the neighbouring structures. Excimer laser photoablation (193 nm) can remove layers of corneal tissue effectively with little or no damage to the adjacent areas. Previous experimental studies have demonstrated a decrease in outflow resistance after ab-externo photoablative removal of juxtacanalicular tissue. We have performed ab-externo photoablative removal of limbal tissue overlying the trabecular meshwork in four freshly enucleated eyes from our Eye Bank. The beam of an excimer laser (wavelength 193 nm; fluence 180 mJ/Sq.cm) was shaped using a metal mask with a rectangular opening of 1.2×2.5 mm. After removing the conjunctiva, photoablation was carried out at maximum surgical microscope magnification (40 x) until trabecular meshwork appeared at the bottom of the crater. Light microscopy showed that craters had smooth walls and their base reached the Schlemm's canal area; all structures appeared of normal morphology. Transmission electron microscopy showed a thin layer of amorphous material or pseudomembrane on the side walls of the crater; corneoscleral collagen fibers were abruptly interrupted and undistorted. At the bottom of the crater the trabecular meshwork and Schlemm's canal tissues appeared normal.

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Bertagno, R., Giordano, G., Murialdo, U. et al. Excimer laser photoablative filtration surgery: histology and ultrastructure in 4 human cadaver eyes. Int Ophthalmol 18, 159–161 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00915965

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Key words

  • excimer laser
  • filtration
  • photoablation
  • pseudomembrane