A rat model of radiofrequency ablation of trigeminal innervation via a ventral approach with stereotaxic surgery

Edward K. Wong, Richard D. Kinyamu, Jordan M. Graff, Garrick Chak, Monique N. Wong, Heidi Agnic, Eugene Kang, Susan Lin, Vinita Jain, Roy S. Chuck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Neurotrophic keratopathy (NK), a consequence of sensory denervation of the cornea, must be better understood in order to develop new approaches to therapy. The purpose of this study was to create a rat model for neurotrophic keratopathy by denervating the trigeminal nerve through a ventral approach with stereotaxic surgery. Stereotaxic coordinates were measured in 46 male Sprague Dawley rat cadavers for localization of V1. After further refining the coordinates in nine live animals, radiofrequency ablation was chosen as an effective method of disrupting the innervation to the cornea. Fifty-two live rats were treated with radiofrequency ablation to define the anatomical localization of the lesion by utilizing gross and histopathological studies. A gross lesion of the trigeminal nerve and/or ganglion was observed in 47 (90%) of the 52 animals. Histopathological studies revealed that all 52 animals had anatomical damage of the trigeminal innervation to the eye. Low mortality and little morbidity were observed in these animals. We have developed a rat model for neurotrophic keratopathy that is simple to produce, accurate in creating a lesion by utilizing stereotaxic techniques combined with radiofrequency ablation, and successful in decreasing morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-303
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • histopathology
  • neurotrophic keratitis
  • neurotrophic keratopathy (NK)
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • rat model
  • stereotaxic surgery
  • trigeminal ganglion
  • trigeminal nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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