In vivo treatment of experimental Candida albicans keratitis with the excimer laser achieved sterilization on culture and histopathologically in all corneas in which clinically visible infiltration was removed with the laser at the 193-nm wavelength. Treatment at the 248-nm wavelength was not successful in eradicating infection compared with untreated controls. The 193-nm wavelength is highly effective, probably because infected tissue is totally removed by ablative photodecomposition. At the 248-nm wavelength, thermal effects become more dominant and, therefore, fungal elements are incompletely ablated. Light microscopy two days after treatment at the 193-nm wavelength showed healing of ulcerated areas, fine basophilic stippling at the epithelial-stromal interface, and undamaged underlying stroma.
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