Purpose: To investigate the effects of mitomycin C on haze after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
Methods: Twenty of 24 rabbits underwent bilateral 193-nm excimer laser PRK to correct -10.00 D of myopia; the remaining four rabbits were not operated (no PRK group). The right eyes of the 20 rabbits were treated with 0.02% mitomycin C during surgery (PRK+MMC group) and the left eyes did not receive 0.02% mitomycin C (PRK alone group). Clinical and histopathologic examinations were performed.
Results: The most severe haze in the PRK alone group after PRK reached grade 3; the PRK+MMC group did not exceed grade 1 haze. Statistically significant differences were found between the PRK+MMC and PRK alone groups from week 2 to week 26 after treatment (P<.01). Epithelial thickening appeared for 26 weeks in both PRK groups; no statistically significant differences were found between the two PRK groups (P>.05). A marked reduction of keratocytes in the anterior stroma of the PRK+MMC group was observed. At week 1, 2, and 4 after PRK, keratocytes of the PRK+MMC group were only 3.1+/-2.6, 6.8+/-4.7, and 12.4+/-5.7 keratocytes x 10(4)/microm2, respectively, while those of the PRK alone group were 41.2+/-80, 42.3+/-7.8, and 40.0+/-3.3 keratocytes x 10(4)/microm2, respectively. There were statistically significant differences between the two groups (P<.001).
Conclusion: A single intraoperative application of topical mitomycin C during PRK in rabbits reduced corneal haze by inhibiting the proliferation of keratocytes.