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Higher order optical aberrations and visual acuity in a randomized controlled trial comparing transepithelial versus epithelium-off corneal crosslinking for progressive keratoconus

Authors Godefrooij DA, El Kandoussi M, Soeters N, Wisse RP

Received 11 April 2017

Accepted for publication 3 June 2017

Published 30 October 2017 Volume 2017:11 Pages 1931—1936


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Daniel A Godefrooij, Mustapha El Kandoussi, Nienke Soeters, Robert PL Wisse

Utrecht Cornea Research Group, Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of transepithelial crosslinking (trans-CXL) versus epithelium-off crosslinking (epi-off CXL) for progressive keratoconus with respect to the development of higher order aberrations (HOAs) and their effects on visual acuity.
Materials and methods: A total of 61 patients were randomized and examined preoperatively and 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively in an academic referral center. Total corneal HOAs were compared between the two treatment groups using mixed linear modeling. Types of HOAs (coma, trefoil, and spherical aberration) that differed between groups were entered in a multivariable analysis to test their effect on uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA) and corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA).
Results: The epi-off CXL group had more flattening in maximal keratometry compared to the trans-CXL group (P=0.02). UDVA did not differ significantly between the groups (P=0.59); however, CDVA was significantly more improved in the trans-CXL group (P=0.02). Horizontal trefoil improved more in the epi-off group compared to the trans-CXL group (P=0.04), whereas the other HOAs were virtually unchanged in both groups. Differences in changes in HOAs between the two groups had no effect on either UCVA (P=0.76) or CDVA (P=0.96).
Conclusion: Although HOAs are clinically relevant determinants of vision quality in keratoconus patients, the change in total HOAs post treatment did not differ between the trans-CXL and epi-off CXL groups. Only horizontal trefoil differed significantly post treatment between the trans-CXL and epi-off CXL groups. However, this difference did not independently affect either UDVA or CDVA. Trans-CXL provides no benefit over epi-off CXL regarding visual relevant HOAs.

Keywords: keratoconus, crosslinking, epithelium off, epithelium on, transepithelial, higher order aberrations, HOAs

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