Purpose To investigate the efficacy and safety of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) with photoactivated riboflavin (photoactivated chromophore for infectious keratitis [PACK]-CXL) in the management of infectious keratitis with corneal melting. Design Prospective clinical trial. Participants Forty eyes from 40 patients with advanced infectious keratitis and coexisting corneal melting. Methods Twenty-one patients (21 eyes) underwent PACK-CXL treatment in addition to antimicrobial therapy. The control group consisted of 19 patients (19 eyes) who received only antimicrobial therapy. Main Outcome Measures The slit-lamp characteristics of the corneal ulceration, corrected distance visual acuity, duration until healing, and complications were documented in each group. The Mann-Whitney U test was used for statistical analysis. P values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. Results The average time until healing was 39.76±18.22 days in the PACK-CXL group and 46.05±27.44 days in the control group (P = 0.68). After treatment and healing, corrected distance visual acuity was 1.64±0.62 in the PACK-CXL group and 1.67±0.48 in the control group (P = 0.68). The corneal ulceration's width and length was significantly bigger in the PACK-CXL group (P = 0.004 and P = 0.007). Three patients in the control group demonstrated corneal perforation; infection recurred in 1 of them. No serious complications occurred in the PACK-CXL group. Conclusions Corneal CXL with photoactivated riboflavin did not shorten the time to corneal healing; however, the complication rate was 21% in the control group, whereas there was no incidence of corneal perforation or recurrence of the infection in the PACK-CXL group. These results indicate that PACK-CXL may be an effective adjuvant therapy in the management of severe infectious keratitis associated with corneal melting.
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