Purpose: Currently available ocular moisture chambers are not adequate to manage the treatment of periocular burns, corneal injuries, and infection. The purpose of these studies was to demonstrate that a flexible, semi-transparent ocular wound chamber device adapted from technology currently used on dermal wounds is safe for use on corneal epithelial injuries.
Materials and methods: A depilatory cream (Nair™, 30 seconds) was utilized to remove the excess hair surrounding the left eyes of anesthetized Institute Armand Frappier (IAF) hairless, female guinea pigs (Crl:HA-Hrhr). A 4 mm corneal epithelium defect was created using a corneal rust ring remover (Algerbrush®II). Epithelial defects were either left untreated or the eyes were fitted with an ocular wound chamber and 0.5 mL of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) gel (GenTeal®) or HPMC liquid (GenTeal®) was injected into each chamber (N=5 per group). At 0, 24, 48, and 72 hours fluorescein and optical coherence tomography imaging was collected and the intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured. H&E staining was performed on corneal and eyelid skin samples and evaluated by a veterinary pathologist.
Results: Corneal epithelial wounds demonstrated 100% closure rates when left untreated or treated with an ocular wound chamber containing HPMC gel at 72 hours while wounds treated with an ocular wound chamber containing HPMC liquid were 98% healed. No significant differences were found in corneal thickness and wound healing, IOP, or eyelid skin pathology in any treatment group when compared to controls.
Conclusions: This study indicates that adapted wound chamber technology can be safely used on sterile, corneal epithelial wounds without adverse effects on periocular or ocular tissue when filled with a liquid or gel.
Keywords: corneal epithelial wound healing; exposure keratopathy; guinea pig; periocular burns; wound chamber.