Purpose. To determine the relation between the corneal light transmission measurements and the epithelial surface properties in hen corneas after different refractive surgery techniques photorefractive keratectomy, laser in situ keratomileusis, and laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis, and a group with only epithelial corneal removal (deepithelialization).
Methods. Five groups of hen corneas with different treatments and a control group were analyzed at 30 days. Direct transmittance and corneal light scattering were measured by a scatterometer developed by our group. Quantitative and systematic measurements of external and internal roughness and epithelium thickness were assessed using standard techniques developed for quantitative analysis of microphotographs of the corneal epithelium.
Results. Data analysis revealed that the roughness in the epithelial surface was associated with the corneal light transmission. The direct transmittance of light showed a significant correlation with the epithelial roughness in the control (r = −0.99, p < 0.05) and photorefractive keratectomy (r = −0.99, p < 0.05) groups. However, there was no relation between the epithelial thickness and the corneal light transmission measurements.
Conclusions. The experimental results suggested that the roughness of the epithelial surfaces is related to the light transmission in the cornea.
Instituto Universitario de Oftalmobiología Aplicada (PP-M, TB-M, JM-L, AM-I), Department of Cell Biology, Faculty of Medicine (PP-M, MCM-G), Department of Theoretical Physics and Optics (SM-S), Department of Statistics and O.R., Faculty of Medicine (AM-I), University of Valladolid, Valladolid, Spain, and Instituto de Óptica “Daza de Valdés,” Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Serrano, Madrid, Spain (AP-E).
This work was supported by grants from FIS-PI 05/2841, RTIC 03/13, Carlos III Health Institute, Spanish Ministry of Health, and grant PROFIT CIT-3100 to 2007-50, Spanish Ministry of Health.
This paper was presented in part as a poster at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Fort Lauderdale, Florida, April 2008.
Received August 6, 2009; accepted February 15, 2010.