To evaluate mechanical damage of simulated lenticular debris on corneal endothelial cells during phacoemulsification.
University setting, Salt Lake City, Utah.
12 New Zealand rabbits underwent bilateral surgery. After incision, 10 1.0 mm beads were injected into the anterior chamber of test eyes to simulate lenticular debris. A balanced salt solution was injected into the contralateral eyes with the same injector. The Intrepid Balanced Tip of the Centurion Ozil handpiece was inserted into the anterior chamber, and 60% torsional ultrasound was applied for 20 seconds with 50 mL/min flow, 70 mm Hg intraocular pressure, and 600 mm Hg vacuum. Cumulative dissipated energy (CDE) was noted. After euthanasia and enucleation, the corneas were removed, stained with trypan blue/alizarin red, and photographed in a standardized manner (×400 photographs from 5 specific areas and 1 overview photograph from each corneal button). The ImageJ program was used to evaluate cell damage and loss in the photographs.
CDE was 4.64 ± 0.19 for test eyes with beads and 4.66 ± 0.17 for control eyes without beads (P = .58). The percentage of intact cells was statistically higher in the control group (P = .0005), whereas the percentages of damaged and lost cells were statistically higher in the test group (P = .0010 and .0005, respectively). This was observed in the analysis of the ×400 photographs and overview photographs.
This study suggests that lenticular debris swirling around the anterior chamber may cause significant damage to the corneal endothelium, providing further insight on mechanisms of damage during phacoemulsification.