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J Refract Surg. 2006 Sep;22(7):708-12.

Correlation between TGF-beta1 in tears and corneal haze following LASEK and epi-LASIK.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Peking Union Medical College Hospital, Peking Union Medical College, Chinese Academic of Medical Science, Medical College, Peking, China.



To compare the incidence and degree of corneal haze formation following laser subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) and epithelial laser in situ keratomileusis (epi-LASIK), and examine its correlation with tear film transforming growth factor-beta1 (TGF-beta1) levels.


This prospective, interventional, clinical trial included 20 eyes (20 patients) randomly assigned to undergo LASEK or epi-LASIK. The level of TGF-beta1 in tear fluid was measured preoperatively and 1, 3, and 5 days postoperatively. Corneal haze was graded at 1 and 3 months after surgery, and the relationship with TGF-beta1 levels was determined.


Mean preoperative spherical equivalent refraction was -4.50 +/- 1.44 diopters (D) (range: -1.50 to -6.00 D) for LASEK eyes and -4.90 +/- 1.26 D (range: -1.75 to -6.00 D) for epi-LASIK eyes. Although mean corneal haze scores at 1 month were significantly higher in LASEK-treated eyes than in epi-LASIK treated eyes (P=.031), these scores were similar at 3 months (P=.608). Tear fluid TGF-beta1 levels were similar in LASEK and epi-LASIK eyes before surgery (P=.458) and significantly higher in the LASEK group at 1, 3, and 5 days postoperatively (P=.015, P=.023, and P=.039, respectively). A positive correlation was noted between tear TGF-beta1 levels on the first postoperative day and the degree of corneal haze at 1 month (r=0.501, P=.016).


Less corneal haze was noted after epi-LASIK than LASEK. A positive correlation between corneal haze and tear fluid TGF-beta1 levels on the first postoperative day suggest a possible mechanism for the observed difference.

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