Side effects in excimer corneal surgery. DNA damage as a result of 193 nm excimer laser radiation

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1988;226(3):273-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02181195.


UV radiation is known to cause actinic damage to the DNA. Excimer laser light, possibly used for keratorefractive surgery, should not produce this damage, as the penetration depth is far less than the diameter of a cell. However, photoreactivation experiments with yeast cells show a significant amount of DNA repair after excimer irradiation. The zone of influence of a small slitlike exposure has a diameter of 2 cm. Consequently, the limbus, the critical location of epithelial neoplasia, always lies within the sphere of actinic damage. Radiation damage is induced by secondary radiation rather than by direct interaction.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • DNA Damage*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Radiation Injuries*
  • Yeasts / genetics
  • Yeasts / radiation effects