Corneal reepithelialization rates following application of bandage contact lenses and eyelid tarsorrhaphy

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Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science



Our previous work demonstrated that wound healing (reepithelialization,stromal remodeling and scar formation) in the White Leghornchicken cornea is similar to that observed in humans, makingthe chicken a viable animal model for corneal wound healinginvestigations. Additionally, using this animal model we haveshown patching techniques (a traditional treatment method forcorneal epithelial abrasions) to slow reepithelialization comparedto untreated controls (p<0.004). This study objectively quantifiesreepithelialization times and corneal epithelial cell crawlingrates on wounded corneas treated with either a bandage contactlens (BCL) or an eyelid tarsorraphy (TAR).


Eighteenadult female White Leghorn chickens were randomly assigned toone of three treatment groups: untreated control, BCL and TAR.The right corneas of each subject had a 5 mm diameter zone debridedcentrally using a Gills’ blade. Following debridementthe appropriate treatment was applied and the subjects werefollowed by fluorescein photography every 4 hours until reepithelializationwas achieved. Using a computerized image analysis system, epithelialdefect areas were quantified at each time point and appropriatestatistical analysis performed.


The epithelial defecthealing times in both the TAR (36hrs) and BCL (36hrs) treatmentgroups were significantly shorter than controls (44hrs) (p<0.0001for both). Additionally, the corneal epithelial cell crawlingrate in both the TAR and BCL treatment groups was significantlyfaster than controls at 125% of the control rate (p<0.0025for both).


Bandage contact lens and eye lid tarsorraphyimproved healing times for corneal epithelial defects comparedto controls and the traditionally used pressure patch. Furthermore,the use of a bandage contact lens to treat corneal epithelialdefects allows the subject to continue to use the injured eyeduring healing, an advantage not present in any of the othertreatments tested.