Clinical patterns of corneal epithelial wound healing

Am J Ophthalmol. 1987 Nov 15;104(5):481-9. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)74105-4.


We studied the reepithelialization of corneal abrasions in 21 patients. All abrasions, irrespective of the nature of injury, followed a consistent pattern during reepithelialization. Three to six convex leading fronts of migrating epithelial sheets developed along the circumference of the defect and progressed toward the center. Neighboring fronts met along their sides, resulting in the formation of various geometric shapes. In the final stage of the healing process a contact line shaped like a "Y" or two "Y's" placed with their long axes end to end was seen where the advancing fronts of migrating epithelial sheets met. The rate of healing of the abrasions was determined by measuring the area of the abrasions at daily intervals from serial photographs. The area of the epithelial defects decreased exponentially with time, indicating a constant rate of epithelial cell migration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Burns, Chemical / pathology
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Corneal Injuries*
  • Epithelium / pathology
  • Eye Burns / pathology
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Wound Healing*