Introduction: Recurrent corneal erosion occurs when the wounded corneal epithelium failed to adhere to the underlying stroma. Therefore, this work aimed to assess the effect of treatment of corneal injury using Q- switched Nd:YAG laser.
Method: Twenty one New Zealand male rabbits weighing 2-2.5 kg and 3 months old were classified into three main groups. The control group: did not received any treatment (n=3 rabbits). The rest of the animals (n= 18 rabbits), corneal epithelium was injured by syringe needle and blade 15 and divided into:(A) Normal healing group: which was divided into three subgroups (n=3 rabbits each), and the animals were left for normal healing for1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks respectively, (B) Laser treated group: divided into three subgroups (n=3 rabbits each) and subjected to anterior stromal puncture using Q-switched Nd: YAG laser on corneal sub-epithelium or superficial stroma, and the animals were left for 1 day, 1 week, and 4 weeks respectively. After the demonstrated periods, the corneas were isolated for estimation of total protein content, sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), total antioxidative capacity (TAC), total oxidative capacity (TOC) and oxidative stress index (OSI).
Results: The present results of corneal total protein showed increment in the percentage change in normal healed groups after 1 day, 1 week and 4 weeks by values of 93%, 68% and 39%. In Q-switched Nd: YAG laser treated group the results showed better improvement in corneal protein than normal healed group with percentage changes of 58%, 29%, and 7.5% respectively. In SDS- PAGE, a protein band at 110 KD appeared in the migrating epithelium for both normal healed group and Q-switched Nd:YAG laser treated group with changes in the peaks intensities at middle and low molecular weight regions. Moreover, after 4 weeks the peak at 110 KD disappeared in the wounded epithelium treated with Q-switched Nd:YAG. After four weeks, the OSI in laser treated corneas showed pronounced balance between antioxidative capacity and oxidative capacity.
Conclusion: Anterior stromal puncture by Q-switched Nd:YAG laser is an effective, simple, safe and promising procedure to treat recurrent corneal erosion than normal healing.