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      Tear Potassium Contributes to Maintenance of Corneal Thickness

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          Isolated rabbit corneas were bathed on their endothelial surfaces with normal Krebs bicarbonate Ringer solution, while the epithelial surfaces were bathed in a basic tear solution containing sodium and potassium. When bathed in basic tear solution alone, corneal swelling occurred at an average of 12 μm/h over a 3-hour period. Corneal swelling occurred at a rate of about 21 μm/h when the epithelial solution was switched from normal basic tear solution to an iso-osmotic K<sup>+</sup>-free basic tear solution. Corneal swelling then slowed, and in the final hour of a 3-hour exposure to K<sup>+</sup>-free tear solution, the corneas deswelled at about 10 μm/h. The data indicate that potassium is a necessary solute for the maintenance of normal corneal thickness. The results suggest that a lacrimal dysfunction that would cause a decrease in the potassium content of tears may influence corneal thickness and also suggest that the inclusion of potassium in artificial tears is important.

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          Author and article information

          Ophthalmic Res
          Ophthalmic Research
          S. Karger AG
          10 December 2009
          : 24
          : 2
          : 99-102
          Departments of aOphthalmology and bPhysiology and Endocrinology, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, Ga.; cCenter for Sight, Georgetown University Medical Center, Washington, D.C, USA
          267153 Ophthalmic Res 1992;24:99–102
          © 1992 S. Karger AG, Basel

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          Pages: 4
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