To use amniotic membranes as a buffer between the cornea and radioactive eye plaques.
Six melanomas were treated with ophthalmic plaque radiation therapy. Plaque-tumor localization required that a portion of the gold plaque touch the cornea during treatment. To enhance patient comfort and protect the cornea, an (0.1-mm-thick) amniotic membrane was interposed between the metal plaque edge and the cornea.
Minimal ocular discomfort was noted during plaque radiation therapy. On a scale of 1 (none) to 10 (severe), all 6 patients reported pain levels of 1. As a tissue equivalent and because the mean thickness was only 0.1 mm, amniotic membranes had no significant effect on radiation dose calculations. No adverse effects, infections, or abrasions were noted.
The amniotic membrane buffer technique improves patient comfort and protects the cornea during ophthalmic plaque radiation therapy.