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Cornea. 2007 Sep;26(8):956-62.

Intacs for keratoconus and post-LASIK ectasia: mechanical versus femtosecond laser-assisted channel creation.

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New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA, USA.



To evaluate the efficacy of intracorneal ring segments to treat keratoconus and post-laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) keratectasia implanted by using either mechanical dissection or a femtosecond laser.


Thirty-three eyes of 29 patients had intracorneal ring segments implanted by using mechanical dissection (17 eyes) or a femtosecond laser (16 eyes). Mean follow-up was 10.3 months. Parameters assessed before and after surgery included uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), manifest refractive spherical equivalent (MRSE), refractive cylinder (RC), best contact lens-corrected visual acuity (BCLVA), and contact lens tolerance.


Statistically significant changes occurred for all parameters when we analyzed all 33 eyes as 1 group. Mean UCVA LogMar values improved from 1.0 +/- 0.3 (20/200) to 0.6 +/- 0.4 (20/80) (P < 0.0005). Mean BSCVA changed from 0.3 +/- 0.2 (20/40) to 0.2 +/- 0.2 (20/30) (10%; P < 0.05), and MRSE from -9 +/- 4 to -7 +/- 4 D (P < 0.05; 20%). There was a decrease of 0.5 D or more of RC in 62% of eyes. BCLVA improved from 0.2 +/- 0.2 (20/30) to 0.1 +/- 0.1 (20/25) after surgery (P < 0.02). Contact lens tolerance improved in 81% of eyes. There was no statistically significant difference in outcomes between mechanical dissection and femtosecond laser-assisted techniques. However, although statistical power was adequate to detect changes in clinical parameters as a result of surgery, it was not sufficient to conclusively show such differences between surgical techniques.


For mild to moderate cases of keratoconus and post-LASIK keratectasia, the use of a femtosecond laser for Intacs channel creation seems as effective as mechanical dissection. Future studies are warranted to further evaluate channel creation by a femtosecond laser.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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