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Ophthalmology. 2001 Mar;108(3):449-60.

Amniotic membrane transplantation after extensive removal of primary and recurrent pterygia.

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Ocular Surface and Tear Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Miami, FL 33136, USA.



To evaluate the postoperative outcome and the recurrence rate after extensive removal of primary and recurrent pterygia combined with amniotic membrane transplantation.


A noncomparative interventional case series.


Fifty-four eyes in 54 subjects with either primary (n = 33) or recurrent (n = 21) pterygia operated on by one surgeon (SCGT).


All subjects were operated on for pterygia with an extensive excision of the lesion followed by amniotic membrane transplantation and intraoperative injection of a depot corticosteroid.


Cumulative rates of conjunctival (grade 3) and corneal (grade 4) recurrence and incidence of complications.


The mean follow-up was 12.8 +/- 4.3 months for primary and 14.3 +/- 4.9 months for recurrent pterygia. The true recurrence rate (grade 4) was 3.0%, 9.5%, and 5.6% for primary, recurrent, and all pterygia, respectively. The cumulative proportion of recurrence-free eyes at 12 months was 0.90 +/- 0.06 for primary and 0.69 +/- 0.11 for recurrent pterygia (P = 0.047, log-rank test). Removal of the semilunar fold was associated with longer survival times (P = 0.063) and decreased failure rate (P = 0.046). A similar success rate was achieved in double-head pterygia (1 recurrence in 11 eyes).


Amniotic membrane transplantation is an effective and safe procedure for pterygium surgery, with a relatively low recurrence rate for both primary and recurrent pterygia. It can be a useful alternative to conjunctival autograft when a large conjunctival defect has to be covered, such as in primary double-head pterygia and in large recurrent pterygia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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