Aim: This study used specular microscopy to evaluate the possible effects of applying autologous serum to the anterior chamber on the corneal endothelial damage created by the ultrasonic vibrations of phacoemulsification (PHACO) in rabbits.
Materials and methods: The study, which was approved by the Ethics Committee, involved both eyes of nine 5 month-old (about 3 kg) New Zealand genus albino male rabbits. Group 1(6 eyes) received only an application of 0.2 ml autologous serum; Group 2 (6 eyes) received only the ultrasonic vibrations for 20 seconds; and Group 3 (6 eyes) received 0.2 ml autologous serum followed by ultrasonic vibrations for 20 seconds. Measurements were made before the intervention and at the 1st and 7th days postoperatively using specular microscopy, intraocular pressure, and pachymetry metrics, and the data were compared statistically.
Results: Postoperative 1st week, the cornea thickness increased from 385 µ to 445 µ in Group 2 (PHACO only) and from 398 µ to 402 µ in Group 2 (PHACO plus autologous serum). However, this difference was not statistically significant. Postoperative 1st day standard deviation (p < 0.05) and variation coefficient (p < 0.05) values of the specular microscopy parameters for Groups 2 and 3 were higher than for Group 1. Postoperative 1st week it was observed that the parameters of the three groups were similar and had returned to the preoperational values. Between the endothelial cell numbers, the cell density, the cell space average, the largest and the smallest percentage of the cell and the hexagonal cell area values, there were no statistically significant differences at the three measurement time points.
Conclusion: This study showed that, after the phacoemulsification process, autologous serum applied to the anterior chamber can, by positive possible effects on endothelial pump functions, reduce corneal edema without morphological changes, which can be confirmed with specular microscopy.