Purpose: Compare the effectiveness of Phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK) in treatment corneal dystrophies versus superficial corneal scars: visual outcomes, recurrence rate and safety profile.
Methods: PTK was performed in 51 eyes of 51 patients. Data regarding the indications for PTK, ablation depth, symptomatic relief, pre-and postoperative best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), spherical equivalent changes, recurrence and complications were analyzed. The indications for PTK in our study were classified into two categories – group A: patients with corneal dystrophies (n = 23) and the other group B (n = 28) with other indications.
Results: The average age of the patients was 47 years (±16.4). The mean follow up period was 15.16 months (±10.01 months). Post operatively, there were no significant complications. While the overall BSCVA in the patients improved from 20/41 (0.484) to 20/32 (0.645), group A showed improvement from 20/35 (0.561) to 20/29 (0.687), as compared to group B in which BSCVA improved from 20/47 (0.421) to 20/33 (0.611). The most common indication in group A was granular corneal dystrophy (n = 10) and the most common indication in group B was post traumatic/infectious corneal scar or opacity (n = 10). Eighty-six percent (n = 44) of all patients had alleviation of symptoms. Recurrence of symptoms was seen in 3 eyes of recurrent corneal erosions which required retreatment.
Conclusion: PTK is a safe and effective procedure. The outcome of this study suggests that PTK improves BSCVA. PTK appears to improve ocular surface health. Furthermore, PTK can be recommended to most patients with corneal dystrophies as a treatment modality prior to other more invasive procedure (viz. penetrating keratoplasty).
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