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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation of corneal ablation by an optical parametric oscillator (OPO) at 2.94 μm and an Er:YAG laser and comparison to ablation by a 193-nm excimer laser
Author(s): William B. Telfair; Hanna J. Hoffman; Robert E. Nordquist; Richard A. Eiferman
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Paper Abstract

Purpose: This study first evaluated the corneal ablation characteristics of (1) an Nd:YAG pumped OPO (Optical Parametric Oscillator) at 2.94 microns and (2) a short pulse Er:YAG laser. Secondly, it compared the histopathology and surface quality of these ablations with (3) a 193 nm excimer laser. Finally, the healing characteristics over 4 months of cat eyes treated with the OPO were evaluated. Methods: Custom designed Nd:YAG/OPO and Er:YAG lasers were integrated with a new scanning delivery system to perform PRK myopic correction procedures. After initial ablation studies to determine ablation thresholds and rates, human cadaver eyes and in-vivo cat eyes were treated with (1) a 6.0 mm Dia, 30 micron deep PTK ablation and (2) a 6.0 mm Dia, -5.0 Diopter PRK ablation. Cadaver eyes were also treated with a 5.0 mm Dia, -5.0 Diopter LASIK ablation. Finally, cats were treated with the OPO in a 4 month healing study. Results: Ablation thresholds below 100 mJ/cm2 and ablation rates comparable to the excimer were demonstrated for both infrared systems. Light Microscopy (LM) showed no thermal damage for low fluence treatments, but noticeable thermal damage at higher fluences. SEM and TEM revealed morphologically similar surfaces for low fluence OPO and excimer samples with a smooth base and no evidence of collagen shrinkage. The Er:YAG and higher fluence OPO treated samples revealed more damage along with visible collagen coagulation and shrinkage in some cases. Healing was remarkably unremarkable. All eyes had a mild healing response with no stromal haze and showed topographic flattening. LM demonstrated nothing except a moderate increase in keratocyte activity in the upper third of the stroma. TEM confirmed this along with irregular basement membranes. Conclusions: A non- thermal ablation process called photospallation is demonstrated for the first time using short pulse infrared lasers yielding damage zones comparable to the excimer and healing which is also comparable to the excimer. Such Infrared sources are, therefore, potentially attractive competitors to the excimer to perform PRK and LASIK.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1998
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3246, Ophthalmic Technologies VIII, (1 June 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.309421
Show Author Affiliations
William B. Telfair, IR Vision, Inc. (United States)
Hanna J. Hoffman, IR Vision, Inc. (United States)
Robert E. Nordquist, Wound Healing of Oklahoma (United States)
Richard A. Eiferman, Veterans Administration Medical Ctr. Research Service (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3246:
Ophthalmic Technologies VIII
Pascal O. Rol; Karen Margaret Joos; Fabrice Manns, Editor(s)

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