Background: Combination of riboflavin/UVA cross-linking (CXL) and excimer laser ablation is a promising therapy for treating corneal ectasia. The cornea is strengthened by cross-linking, while the irregular astigmatism is reduced by laser ablation. This study aims to compare the efficacy of excimer laser ablation on porcine corneas with and without cross-linking. Methods and Findings: The porcine cornea was de-epithelialized and treated with 0.1% riboflavin solution for 30 minutes. A half of the cornea was exposed to UVA-radiation for another 30 minutes while the controlled half of the cornea was protected from the UVA using a metal shield. Photo therapeutic keratectomy (PTK) was then performed on the central cornea. Corneal thickness of 5 paired locations on the horizontal line, ±0.5, ±1.0, ±1.5, ±2.0, and ±2.5 mm from the central spot, were measured using optical coherence tomography prior to and after PTK. The ablation depth was then determined by the corneal thickness. There was a 9% difference (P<0.001) in the overall ablation depth between the CXL-half corneas (158±22 μm) and the control-half corneas (174±26 μm). The ablation depths of all 5 correspondent locations on the CXL-half were significantly smaller (P<0.001). Conclusion: The efficacy of the laser ablation seems to be lower in cross-linked cornea. Current ablation algorithms may need to be modified for cross-linked corneas. © 2012 Chen et al.
Chen, S., Li, Y., Stojanovic, A., Zhang, J., Wang, Y., Wang, Q., & Seiler, T. (2012). Evaluation of the Efficacy of Excimer Laser Ablation of Cross-Linked Porcine Cornea. PLoS ONE, 7(10). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0046232