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This study compared the efficacy and safety of suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) and mitomycin C (MMC) up to 4 months in the prevention of corneal haze induced by photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in rabbits in vivo.


Corneal haze in rabbits was produced with −9.00 diopter PRK. A single application of SAHA (25 μM) or MMC (0.02%) was applied topically immediately after PRK. Effects of the two drugs were analyzed by slit-lamp microscope, specular microscope, TUNEL assay, and immunofluorescence.


Single topical adjunct use of SAHA (25 μM) or MMC (0.02%) after PRK attenuated more than 95% corneal haze and myofibroblast formation (P < .001). SAHA did not reduce keratocyte density, cause keratocyte apoptosis, or increase immune cell infiltration compared to MMC (P < .01 or .001). Furthermore, SAHA dosing did not compromise corneal endothelial phenotype, density, or function in rabbit eyes, whereas MMC application did (P < .01 or .001).


SAHA and MMC significantly decreased corneal haze after PRK in rabbits in vivo. SAHA exhibited significantly reduced short- and long-term damage to the corneal endothelium compared to MMC in rabbits. SAHA is an effective and potentially safer alternative to MMC for the prevention of corneal haze after PRK. Clinical trials are warranted.


This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Refractive Surgery, volume 33, issue 12, in 2017 following peer review. This article may not exactly replicate the final published version. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at


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