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J Refract Surg. 1996 Nov-Dec;12(7):774-82.

Topography of rabbit corneas after photorefractive keratectomy for hyperopia using airborne rotational masks.

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Excimer Study Group, St Vicentius Ziekenhuis, Antwerpen, Belgium.



To determine the long-term outcome of photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) for hyperopia on the rabbit cornea using ablation profiles with a smooth transition zone.


Two profiles were ablated by means of an excimer laser and rotational masks, each profile on four rabbit eyes. Corrections of +10 diopters (D) were planned in all operations. The right eye was treated with a 4-mm optical zone and a 2-mm transition zone (4-mm/8-mm profile), the left eye with a 4-mm ablation and a 1-mm transition zone (4-mm/6-mm profile). Corneal topography was measured with an EyeSys videokeratoscope at 3, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, 75 and 120 weeks postoperatively.


After more than 2 years the axial power-not corrected for the physiologic flattening of the corneas-showed a residual steepening of +3.60 (+/-3.90) D for the right eyes and +3.9 (+/-2.8) D for the left eyes. The diameter of the topographic optical zone was equal to or smaller than the innermost mire. The power started to decrease paracentrally, giving the profile graph of the power a characteristic peak pattern. The flat transition zone, typical of PRK for hyperopia, could be recognized on the Placido images as a characteristic broadening of the midperipheral rings. The axial power map and the power profile did not show this flattening in the transition zone.


A steepening of the central cornea by PRK is possible. The diameter of the topographic optical zone of homogeneous power is smaller than induced, increasing considerably the asphericity of the central cornea. The 4-mm/8-mm ablation profiles did not give a larger diameter topographic optical zone nor less regression than the 4-mm/6-mm ablation profiles. The videokeratoscope makes errors in measuring axial power of mixed convex-concave surfaces.

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