Comparison of transepithelial and conventional photorefractive keratectomy in myopic and myopic astigmatism patients: a randomized contralateral trial

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Abstract

Background: To assess transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (tPRK) in terms of corneal epithelial healing rate, postoperative pain, postoperative discomfort, and visual and refraction outcomes compared to mechanical epithelial debridement PRK (mPRK) and alcohol-assisted PRK (aaPRK). Methods: In this double-masked, randomized clinical trial, thirty-nine patients underwent tPRK in one eye and mPRK in the fellow eye (arm A), and 33 patients underwent tPRK in one eye and aaPRK in the contralateral eye (arm B). All surgical procedures were done using the Schwind Amaris excimer laser. The area of corneal epithelial defect in all eyes was captured and analyzed using ImageJ software. Results: Mean epithelial healing time was respectively 3.74 ± 0.82 and 3.59 ± 0.79 days in tPRK versus mPRK (P = 0.21) in arm A, and 3.67 ± 0.92 and 3.67 ± 0.74 days in tPRK versus aaPRK (P = 1.00) in arm B. Accounting for the initial corneal epithelial defect area, the epithelial healing rate was faster in conventional PRK groups compared to tPRK (both P<0.001) in both arms. However, there was no significant difference in safety, efficacy, spherical equivalent refractive accuracy, or corneal haze development between tPRK and conventional PRK groups (all P > 0.05). Conclusions: All three methods are effective in terms of visual and refractive outcomes. However, although time to complete re-epithelialization was similar with the three methods, the epithelial healing rate was faster in conventional PRK considering the initial corneal epithelial defect area, and the patients experienced less pain and discomfort in the first postoperative day. Trial registration: IRCT, IRCT20200317046804N1. Retrospectively registered 5 May 2020.

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Hashemi, H., Alvani, A., Aghamirsalim, M., Miraftab, M., & Asgari, S. (2022). Comparison of transepithelial and conventional photorefractive keratectomy in myopic and myopic astigmatism patients: a randomized contralateral trial. BMC Ophthalmology, 22(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12886-022-02293-2

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