T. Ehmke
T. G. Seiler
I. R. Fischinger
T. Ripken
A. Heisterkamp
B. E. Frueh

Comparison of Corneal Riboflavin Gradients Using Dextran and HPMC Solutions

Journal of Refractive Surgery
Type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz (reviewed)
PURPOSE: To determine the riboflavin concentration gradient in the anterior corneal stroma when using hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) or dextran as the carrier agent. METHODS: Four different groups of porcine corneas (5 each) were compared regarding the riboflavin concentration in the anterior stroma. Prior to all experiments, stable hydration conditions were established for the corresponding solution. The dextran groups were treated with 0.1\% riboflavin in 20\% dextran for 10 and 30 minutes and the HPMC groups with 0.1\% riboflavin in 1.1\% HPMC for 10 and 30 minutes. After imbibition, nonlinear microscopy and consecutive image analysis were used to determine two-photon fluorescence intensities. To determine the riboflavin concentration, corneas were saturated and measured a second time by two-photon microscopy. With this measurement, a proper correction for absorption and scattering could be performed. Ultraviolet-A (UVA) transmission was measured after the application time for each group. RESULTS: Riboflavin concentration decreased with increasing depth and increased with longer application times in all groups. Comparing the dextran for 30 minutes and HPMC for 10 minutes groups, a significantly higher stromal riboflavin concentration was found within the most anterior 70 µm in the dextran group for 30 minutes, whereas deeper than 260 µm HPMC-assisted imbibition for 10 minutes yielded higher concentrations. In dextran-treated corneas, values obtained from pachymetry were substantially reduced, whereas HPMC-assisted imbibition led to a decent swelling. UVA transmission values were higher in dextran-assisted imbibition than in HPMC-assisted imbibition. CONCLUSIONS: Stromal riboflavin gradients are similar when applied in dextran for 30 minutes and HPMC for 10 minutes. When using HPMC solutions, a shallower cross-linked volume is expected due to a higher corneal hydration.