The effect of moderate in-vivo hypothermic perfusion on corneal endothelial integrity was studied in the cat. Eleven cats underwent in-vivo anterior chamber perfusion for 30 minutes with either normothermic (23 degrees C) or hypothermic (5 degrees C) perfusate. Corneas were then evaluated clinically (biomicroscopy), functionally (vital staining), and morphologically (scanning electron microscopy) for changes attributable to hypothermic perfusion. All 3 modes of evaluation suggested no difference in corneal endothelial integrity under the 2 experimental perfusion conditions. At the clinical and scanning electron microscope levels hypothermic perfusion does not show any effects on the corneal endothelium. Regional hypothermia is of theoretical and potential utility in procedures involving prolonged intraocular perfusion.
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