The role of topical vitamin A in promoting healing in surface refractive procedures: a prospective randomized controlled study
Elias Chelala,1 Ali Dirani,1 Ali Fadlallah,1 Sharbel Fahd2
1Saint Joseph University, Faculty of Medicine, Beirut, Lebanon; 2Ophthalmic Consultant of Beirut, Chairman Ophthalmology, Lebanese American University, Beirut, Lebanon
Aim: To evaluate the effect of topical vitamin A supplementation on corneal re-epithelialization time, postoperative pain, visual acuity, and haze following photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
Patients and methods: This prospective study included 32 patients. For each patient, one eye was randomized to the vitamin A group and the fellow eye to the non-vitamin A group (control group). Eyes in the vitamin A group received perioperative topical vitamin A (retinol palmitate, 250 IU/g VitAPOS eye ointment [AFT Pharmaceuticals Pty, Ltd, Sydney, NSW, Australia]) in addition to the classic treatment for PRK. Clinical outcomes were evaluated up to 3 months after PRK.
Results: There was no difference in the mean time to complete healing between the vitamin A group and the control group (3.36 ± 0.6 days in the control group; 3.42 ± 0.7 days in the vitamin A group; P = 0.854). Mean postoperative pain at the 48-hour visit was 4.35 ± 1.42 over 10 in the control group, and 4.42 ± 1.37 over 10 in the vitamin A group, with no difference between the two groups (P = 0.589). Subepithelial haze evaluated at 3 months postoperatively did not differ between the two groups (P = 0.960). Also, visual and refractive outcomes were not different between the two groups 3 months postoperatively.
Conclusion: Topical vitamin A supplementation did not affect re-epithelialization time, postoperative pain, corneal haze formation, or visual outcomes after PRK.
Keywords: photorefractive keratectomy, topical vitamin A, corneal re-epithelialization
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