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      Long-Term Results of Bare Sclera, Limbal-Conjunctival Autograft and Amniotic Membrane Graft Techniques in Primary Pterygium Excisions

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          Purpose: To compare the long-term follow-up results of the bare sclera technique (BST), limbal-conjunctival autograft technique (LCAT) and amniotic membrane graft technique (AMGT) in primary pterygium excisions. Materials and Methods: In this study, 48 eyes of 48 patients who underwent pterygium surgery using BST (group 1), 63 eyes of 63 patients who underwent pterygium surgery using LCAT (group 2) and 52 eyes of 52 patients who underwent pterygium surgery using AMGT (group 3) were compared with respect to corneal epithelialization, recurrence and complication of the procedures. The mean ages of the groups were 47.88 ± 14.21 years in group 1, 49.63 ± 14.42 years in group 2 and 47.92 ± 15.52 years in group 3. Patients were followed up to 72.39 ± 11.03 months in group 1, 69.91 ± 12.41 months in group 2 and 61.43 ± 9.83 months in group 3. Results: Postoperative corneal epithelialization was completed in 5.62 ± 1.74 days in group 1, 4.33 ± 0.91 days in group 2 and 4.79 ± 1.39 days in group 3. Corneal epithelialization time was earlier in group 2 than in groups 1 (p < 0.01) and 3 (p < 0.05). Recurrences were detected in 19 eyes (39.58%) in group 1, 11 eyes (14.29%) in group 2 and 12 eyes (23.08%) in group 3. The recurrence rate was significantly lower in group 2 than in groups 1 and 3 (p < 0.001). Postoperative complications were not seen in any of the groups. Graft retraction and necrosis were not detected in the LCAT and AMGT groups during the follow-up period. Conclusions: LCAT was found to be a more effective procedure than BST and AMGT, with decreased recurrence rates after pterygium excision. Limbal-conjunctival autograft seems to be a useful treatment in pterygium surgery due to higher success rates and lower recurrence rates. Amniotic membrane grafts may be an alternative surgical technique for pterygium treatment for patients with or without glaucoma who might need glaucoma surgery in the future.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Transplantation of preserved human amniotic membrane for surface reconstruction in severely damaged rabbit corneas.

           T. J. Kim,  J. Tseng (1995)
          After n-heptanol removal of the total corneal epithelium and a limbal lamellar keratectomy, 23 rabbit eyes developed features of limbal stem cell deficiency including conjunctival epithelial ingrowth, vascularization and chronic inflammation. One month later, 10 control eyes received a total keratectomy, and 13 experimental eyes received additional transplantation of glycerin-preserved human amniotic membrane. In 3 months of follow-up, all control corneas were revascularized to the center with granuloma and retained a conjunctival epithelial phenotype. In contrast, five corneas in the experimental group became clear with either minimal or no vascularization; the rest had either mid peripheral (n = 5) or total (n = 3) vascularization and cloudier stroma. The success of corneal surface reconstruction correlated with the return of a cornea-like epithelial phenotype and the preservation of amniotic membrane, whereas the failure maintained a conjunctival epithelial phenotype and the amniotic membrane was either partially degraded or covered by host fibrovascular stroma. These results suggest that measures taken to facilitate epithelialization without allowing host fibrovascular ingrowth onto the amniotic membrane might prove this procedure clinically useful for ocular surface reconstruction.
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            Concept and application of limbal stem cells.

            Cumulative reported evidence indicates that some fraction of limbal basal epithelial cells are the stem cells for corneal epithelial cell proliferation and differentiation. Limbal epithelium is therefore crucial in maintaining the cell mass of corneal epithelium under normal conditions and plays an important role in corneal epithelial wound healing. Deficiency or absence of limbal stem cells explains well the pathogenesis of several ocular surface disorders characterised by defective conjunctival transdifferentiation or conjunctivalisation of cornea. This paper reviews and updates the basic concept of stem cells, the reported findings of limbal stem cells for corneal epithelium, and their therapeutic applications. Through this review, one hopes to gain a more complete understanding and increase proficiency in treating these diseases.
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              The pathogenesis of pterygia.

              Pterygium is an active, invasive, inflammatory process, a key feature of which is focal limbal failure. In a two-stage process, "conjunctivalization" of the cornea occurs with tissue characterized by extensive chronic-inflammation, cellular proliferation, connective tissue remodeling, and angiogenesis. An understanding of this process has resulted in efforts aimed at limbal reconstruction, which is considered the gold standard for surgical care. Although good results have been obtained with other treatment methods, a long-term approach to follow-up with at least 5-year survival figures is desirable. Sophisticated analyses of the tear film and surface epithelium in patients with pterygium may help explain symptoms. The efficacy, at least in the short term, of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of inflamed pterygia has been confirmed. Corneal topographic analysis has shown that surgery reduces induced astigmatism and also causes subtle changes that may explain postsurgical improvements in vision.

                Author and article information

                S. Karger AG
                July 2009
                02 April 2009
                : 223
                : 4
                : 269-273
                Department of Ophthalmology, Eskişehir Osmangazi University Medical Faculty, Eskişehir, Turkey
                210444 Ophthalmologica 2009;223:269–273
                © 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Tables: 2, References: 38, Pages: 5
                Original Paper


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