Background: To identify possible differences between laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy and epipolis laser in situ keratomileusis for myopia. Design: Meta-analysis. Participants: Patients from previously reported comparative studies treated by laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy versus epipolis laser in situ keratomileusis. Methods: A systematic literature retrieval was conducted in the MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Library, up to January 2013. The included studies were subject to a meta-analysis using a RevMan 5.1 version software. Main Outcome Measures: The differences in efficacy, predictability, safety, epithelial healing time, pain perception and corneal haze formation. Results: A total of six studies involving 517 eyes were included. There were no statistically significant differences in the final proportion of eyes with uncorrected visual acuity of 6/6 or better (P=0.43), mean postoperative uncorrected visual acuity (P=0.53), final proportion of eyes with refraction within ±0.50D (P=0.62) and ±1.00D (P=0.16) of target, final proportion of eyes losing two or more lines of best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (P=1.00), healing time of corneal epithelium (P=0.58), final proportion of eyes with corneal haze grade 0.5 or higher (P=0.26), and corneal haze levels (P=0.36). Conclusions: There were no significant differences in efficacy, predictability, safety, epithelial healing time and corneal haze formation between laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy and epipolis laser in situ keratomileusis, but the result was limited. Future more data are required to detect the potential differences between the two procedures.
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