In this work, the authors presented the techniques and the preliminary results at 6 months of a randomized controlled trial (NCT02117999) comparing a novel transepithelial corneal cross-linking protocol using iontophoresis with the Dresden protocol for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. At 6 months, there was a significant average improvement with an average flattening of the maximum simulated keratometry reading of 0.72 ± 1.20 D (P = 0.01); in addition, corrected distance visual acuity improved significantly (P = 0.08) and spherical equivalent refraction was significantly less myopic (P = 0.02) 6 months after transepithelial corneal cross-linking with iontophoresis. The novel protocol using iontophoresis showed comparable results with standard corneal cross-linking to halt progression of keratoconus during 6-month follow-up. Investigation of the long-term RCT outcomes are ongoing to verify the efficacy of this transepithelial corneal cross-linking protocol and to determine if it may be comparable with standard corneal cross-linking in the management of progressive keratoconus.
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