A Portable Microkeratome for Harvesting the Human Anterior Corneal Surface

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Abstract

Abstract:

A portable, gas-driven turbine microkeratome device capable of harvesting the entire anterior corneal surface for lamellar transplantation on human donor globes was evaluated. The device consisted of a modified LASIK microkeratome with an enlarged suction ring, head, and blade. Vacuum was achieved by a simple hand pump. Lamellar keratectomy was performed on 5 fresh human donor globes. Lenticule dimensions were measured on days 0, 3, 6, and 9 after storage in preservation media at 4°C. On day 0, the obtained lenticules were 13.9 ± 0.9 mm and 13.5 ± 0.4 mm, vertical and horizontal diameters, respectively. The average central lenticule thickness was 152.2 ± 52 μm. Each lenticule was uniform in thickness over 5 measurement points (P = 0.74). Repeat measurements of corneal thickness over the 9 days showed no statistically significant difference (P = 0.51). On day 9 lenticules were 14.6 ± 0.3 mm and 14.6 ± 0.4 mm, vertical and horizontal diameters, respectively. When day 0 was compared to day 9, vertical diameter also showed no statistically significant difference (P = 0.16), whereas horizontal diameter was significantly different (P < 0.001). This device proves to be an economical alternative to electric-powered systems for the harvest of transplantable corneal sections.

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