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How to minimize pterygium recurrence rates: clinical perspectives

Authors Nuzzi R, Tridico F

Received 6 September 2018

Accepted for publication 17 October 2018

Published 19 November 2018 Volume 2018:12 Pages 2347—2362

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S186543

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Cristina Weinberg

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Raffaele Nuzzi, Federico Tridico

S.C.U. Ophthalmology Unit, “City of Health and Science” University Hospital, Department of Surgical Sciences, University of Turin, Turin, Italy

Abstract: The main treatment for pterygium is surgical removal. However, pterygium surgery is concerned with high rates of postoperative recurrence. Predicting factors of recurrence are not fully understood, yet, but they probably depend on a multitude of patient-related, clinical, and/or surgical factors. Several adjuvant treatments have been proposed to reduce postoperative pterygium recurrence, including different antimetabolites, antiangiogenetic factors, and radiation therapy. The purpose of this review is to collect the current evidence regarding application and limits of different therapeutic approaches for preventing postoperative recurrence of pterygium, giving insights and perspectives for better management of this disease. In the light of the current evidence, pterygium surgery cannot disregard wound coverage with conjunctival autografting or rotational flap combined with adjuvant treatments. The rotational flap technique is associated with shorter surgical time rates and prevents graft displacement and necrosis, given its vascular pedicle. Amniotic membrane may still be reserved in case of great conjunctival defects or insufficient conjunctiva. Repeated subconjunctival antivascular endothelial growth factor injections can be considered as an effective and safe adjuvant treatment. Moreover, management of postoperative pain is crucial. Innovative treatment strategies will probably target different molecular pathways, considering recent findings regarding pterygium pathogenesis, to improve better understanding and develop universally shared guidelines. Great importance shall be dedicated to the identification of novel molecular biomarkers and favoring factors of recurrence, in order to achieve a customized surgical treatment for each patient and obtain maximal reduction of postoperative recurrence.

Keywords: pterygium, conjunctival autograft, rotational flap, amniotic membrane, adjuvant therapy, predicting factors

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