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Laser in situ keratomileusis in patients with collagen vascular disease: a review of the literature

Authors Simpson RG, Moshirfar M, Edmonds, Christiansen S, Behunin

Received 3 August 2012

Accepted for publication 30 August 2012

Published 5 November 2012 Volume 2012:6 Pages 1827—1837

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S36690

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2


Rachel G Simpson,1 Majid Moshirfar,2 Jason N Edmonds,2 Steven M Christiansen,2 Nicholas Behunin2

1The University of Arizona College of Medicine, Phoenix, AZ, USA; 2John A Moran Eye Center, The University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA


Purpose: To evaluate the current United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations regarding laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery in patients with collagen vascular diseases (CVD) and assess whether these patients make appropriate candidates for laser vision correction, and offer treatment recommendations based on identified clinical data.
Methods: A literature search was conducted using PubMed, Medline, and Ovid to identify all existing studies of LASIK in patients with collagen vascular diseases. The search was conducted without date limitations. Keywords used for the search included MeSH terms: laser in situ keratomileusis, LASIK, refractive surgery, ocular surgery, and cataract surgery connected by "and" with the following MeSH and natural-language terms: collagen vascular disease, rheumatic disease, systemic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, seronegative spondyloarthropathy, HLA B27, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis. The abstracts for all studies meeting initial search criteria were reviewed; relevant studies were included. No prospective studies were found; however, four retrospective case studies were identified that examined LASIK surgery in patients with CVD. Several case reports were also identified in similar fashion.
Results: The FDA considers CVD a relative contraindication to LASIK surgery, due largely to the ocular complications associated with disease in the CVD spectrum. However, recent studies of LASIK in patients with CVD indicate LASIK may be safe for patients with very well-controlled systemic disease, minimal ocular manifestations, and no clinical signs or history of dry-eye symptoms.
Conclusion: LASIK surgery may be safe in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or systemic lupus erythematosus and the seronegative spondyloarthropathies if stringent preoperative criteria are met. Evidence suggests patients with Sjögren's syndrome are not suitable candidates for LASIK.

Keywords: refractive surgery, ocular surgery, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren's syndrome, seronegative spondyloarthropathies

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