The absorption characteristics of the human cornea in ultraviolet-A crosslinking
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Eye & contact lens: science and clinical practice
, p. 77-80
University of Antwerp
Objectives: With respect to the safety of ultraviolet-A (UVA) crosslinking for the corneal endothelium, an absorption coefficient is used that has been calculated in riboflavin soaked porcine corneas. We aim to validate this value for clinical use by measuring the absorption coefficient for UVA 365 nm in postmortem human corneas after instilling riboflavin on the corneal surface. Methods: Corneal thickness was measured in nine pairs of human donor eyes of which one eye was subjected to manual removal of the epithelium, whereas the epithelium of the fellow eye was left intact. Both eyes were instilled with riboflavin 0.1% in dextran 20% on the intact globe. After 20 min, the corneas were rinsed, and a corneoscleral button was trephined. The transmission of the cornea for UVA 365 nm was measured by transillumination, which allows calculation of the absorption coefficient. Results: Measurement of average corneal thickness was 658.5 ± 51.5 μm when the epithelium was removed, and 758.3 ± 98.8 μm without epithelial removal. The average transmittance for UVA 365 nm was 12.89 ± 4.10% with epithelial debridement and 28.52 ± 4.39% without (P<0.05). The resultant average absorption coefficient is 32 ± 5 cm−1 when the epithelium is removed and 17 ± 2 cm−1 when it is left intact (P<0.05). Conclusions: Our results show an absorption coefficient for human corneas that is much lower than the values reported in the literature. This finding may be relevant when considering endothelial safety of the clinical crosslinking treatment.