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Collagen cross-linking: Strengthening the unstable cornea

Authors Tomkins O, Garzozi HJ

Published 5 December 2008 Volume 2008:2(4) Pages 863—867


Oren Tomkins, Hanna J Garzozi

Department of Ophthalmology, Bnai Zion Medical Center, Haifa, Israel

Abstract: Corneal ectasia, a weakening of corneal integrity, occurs both due to acquired and congenital conditions such as keratoconus. It is a progressing condition that affects both visual acuity, and corneal stability. Various methods exist for correcting this impairment, however none address the inherit pathology, an increase laxity of the corneal stroma. Collagen crosslinking, a new, minimally invasive method, aims to strengthen the stroma by inducing cross links between neighboring collagen fibers. This method results in an increase in corneal tensile strength, with no medium term adverse effects on its normal architecture. Clinically, treated patients display improvement in both visual acuity and keratometric readings. This method may provide clinicians with easily accessible tools to stop the progression, and even correct visual deterioration due to corneal ectasia. Here we review the current information regarding this new method, as well as discuss its potential benefits and downfalls.

Keywords: corneal cross-linking, corneal ectasia, keratoconus, stroma, cornea

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