LASEK and photorefractive keratectomy for myopia: Clinical and confocal microscopy comparison

Alessandra Ghirlando, Catia Gambato, Edoardo Midena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

PURPOSE: To compare postoperative visual acuity and corneal morphology after laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) versus photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) in the correction of low to moderate myopia. METHODS: In a double-blind, randomized clinical trial, 50 myopic patients (mean: -4.5±1.35 diopters) were randomized to receive LASEK in one eye and PRK in the fellow eye. No mitomycin C eye drops were used in this study. Patients were observed daily for 4 days, then at 1 month and every 3 months up to 1 year. Uncorrected and best-corrected visual acuity (UCVA and BSCVA), manifest refraction, corneal epithelium healing time, postoperative pain, and corneal haze were evaluated. Corneal wound healing was quantified with corneal confocal microscopy. RESULTS: Refractive error, UCVA, and BSCVA were not statistically different between eyes treated with LASEK and PRK. Corneal epithelium healing time was 2.52±0.99 days in the eyes treated with PRK and 2.29±0.52 days in the eyes treated with LASEK (P=.22). The postoperative pain score was 2.17±0.87 in the eyes treated with PRK and 2.62±0.60 (P=.02) in the eyes treated with LASEK. Corneal confocal microscopy showed fewer stromal activated keratocytes and less extracellular matrix deposition in the eyes treated with LASEK than in the eyes treated with PRK at 1 month postoperatively (P=.003). CONCLUSIONS: LASEK is an effective and safe procedure for low to moderate myopia, but it seems more painful until full corneal reepithelization. In the early postoperative period, the corneal wound healing process is significantly less intense in eyes treated with LASEK than in eyes treated with PRK. The role of LASEK in corneal wound healing modulation remains controversial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-702
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Refractive Surgery
Volume23
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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