Anterior stromal micropuncture has become an effective treatment for recurrent erosion. The healing process in rabbit corneas was investigated. Following micropuncture of the corneal surface with a 27-gauge needle knife, electron microscopy was carried out at regular intervals from time 0 through 5 months. The corneal incisions began to fill with epithelium by day 1. Activated keratocytes were adjacent to the basement membrane defect by 7 days. The basement membrane appeared to be healed at 2 and 4 weeks. Epithelial projections into the stromal incisions with underlying mature basement membrane persisted at 5 months postsurgery. Basement membrane reproduction occurred much more rapidly following needle puncture than after microdiathermy. This was thought to occur because the corneal epithelial cell was immediately exposed to type I collagen, whereas following microdiathermy, new type I collagen must be secreted on the necrotic collagen before the corneal epithelium will secrete basement membrane.
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