The effect of tear substitute and silicone oil on re-epithelisation of the cornea

D. D. Gaton, H. Stiebel-Kalish, N. Loya, D. Weinberger, Y. Kashtan, A. Solomon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. An animal model study was conducted to compare the effects of recurrent applications of an artificial cellulosic tear substitute and silicone oil on corneal re-epithelisation. Methods. A controlled wound was inflicted to the corneas of two groups of rabbits; one group was treated with tear substitute (5 eyes), while the other group received silicone oil (5 eyes). The left eye served as the control in both groups (10 eyes). The rate of re-epithelisation was measured at intervals of 6 h until complete wound closure was observed. After complete wound closure, the rabbits were killed and histological examinations were performed. Results. The wounds of eyes treated with tear substitute closed at a statistically significant faster rate (at 24, 44, 80 h; p < 0.05) than those treated with silicone oil or the untreated eyes. At 48 h after re-epithelisation, the eyes treated with tear substitute presented a normal epithelium while the untreated and silicone-treated eyes presented an abnormally structured epithelium. Conclusion. This study demonstrates a favourable effect of tear substitute on corneal re-epithelisation in an animal model, in terms of both rate of re-epithelisation and histological aspects of the new epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-144
Number of pages4
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998


  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Cellulosic tear substitute
  • Corneal re-epithelisation
  • Silicone oil


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