Goblet cell response after photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis

Denise S. Ryan, Kraig S. Bower, Rose K. Sia, Marie A. Shatos, Robin S. Howard, Michael J. Mines, Richard D. Stutzman, Darlene A. Dartt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Purpose To determine whether patients without dry eye preoperatively have an altered conjunctival goblet cell density and mucin secretion postoperatively and to explore what factors affect changes in goblet cell density and mucin secretion. Setting The former Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA. Design Prospective nonrandomized clinical study. Methods Impression cytology was used to determine conjunctival goblet cell density before and 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) or laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). The McMonnies questionnaire, Schirmer test, tear breakup time, corneal sensitivity, rose bengal staining, and computerized videokeratoscopy were also performed to assess tear-film and ocular-surface health. Results The ratio of goblet cell to total cells changed postoperatively from baseline in both groups (P < .001). The most significant change was a median 29% decrease 1 month postoperatively. However, there were no significant differences between groups over time (P = .772). The ratio of filled goblet cell to total goblet cell did not change significantly over the same time period (P = .128), and there were no significant differences between the PRK group and the LASIK group over time (P = .282). Conclusions Patients without apparent dry eye had an altered conjunctival goblet cell population after PRK or LASIK. The conjunctival goblet cell population tended to decrease in the early postoperative period after either surgery and was most affected by preoperative goblet cell density. The changes in the tear film and ocular surface did not seem to affect goblet cell mucin secretion after either procedure. Financial Disclosure None of the authors has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1181-1189
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of cataract and refractive surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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