Purpose: To report the results 15 months after transepithelial corneal cross-linking by iontophoresis of riboflavin performed in pediatric patients affected by keratoconus. Methods: Fourteen eyes of 14 pediatric patients [mean age 13 6 2.4 (SD) years; range, 10-18 years] were treated. Riboflavin solution was administered by iontophoresis for 5 minutes, and then UVA irradiation (10 mW/cm2) was performed for 9 minutes. The corrected distance visual acuity measured as decimal number, spherical equivalent, refractive astigmatism, simulated K, corneal coma, spherical aberration, and high-order aberrations for 5.0-mm pupil and the thinnest point were measured preoperatively and 3, 6, 12, and 15 months postoperatively. The endothelial cell density was evaluated. The paired Student t test was used to compare data during the follow-up. Results: Fifteen months after the procedure, the corrected distance visual acuity improved from 0.7 6 1.7 to 0.8 6 1.8 (P = 0.005). Spherical equivalent and refractive astigmatism as well as topographic and aberrometric data did not show significant changes. Also, the mean thinnest point and the endothelial cell density remained unchanged. The optical coherence tomography showed a nonhomogeneous but deep hyperreflective band with a fading effect extending through the anterior 180 mm of the cornea. No side effects were recorded. Conclusions: Transepithelial collagen cross-linking by iontophoresis, unlike other transepithelial techniques, seems to halt pediatric keratoconus progression over 15 months. However, we did not record significant improvement in higher-order aberrations and topographic indices.
- corneal cross-linking
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