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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 Jun;49(6):2390-4. doi: 10.1167/iovs.07-0827.

Clinical investigation of off-flap epi-LASIK for moderate to high myopia.

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Affiliated Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical College, Zhejiang, Peoples Republic of China.



To compare the clinical outcome of on-flap and off-flap epi-LASIK for moderate to high myopia.


This prospective, observer-masked, randomized study included 62 eyes of 31 patients with myopia who underwent off-flap epi-LASIK (epikeratome; Moria, Antony, France) in one eye (off-flap group) and on-flap epi-LASIK in the contralateral eye (on-flap group). Corneal ablation was performed with a commercially available laser (Mel-80; Carl Zeiss Meditec, Oberkochen, Germany). Patients were seen at 3, 5, and 12 days and 1 and 3 months after surgery. Clinical outcomes were compared between groups.


No significant between-group differences in the mean preoperative spherical equivalent (-6.18 +/- 1.29 D vs. -6.47 +/- 1.70 D), the change in lines of best corrected visual acuity at 3 months after surgery, and postoperative pain were found. Compared with the on-flap group, outcomes of better uncorrected visual acuity at 3 and 5 days after surgery (P < 0.001), rapider reepithelialization (P < 0.001), and lower level of haze at 1 and 3 months after surgery (P = 0.04, 0.04) were found in the off-flap group. Three months after surgery, contrast sensitivity function (CSF), with and without glare, did not differ from before surgery in both groups (P > 0.05) except CSF at 18 cpd with glare increased significantly in the off-flap group 3 months after surgery (P = 0.04). Wavefront aberration increased significantly from baseline in both groups 3 months after surgery (P < 0.05). The on-flap group revealed greater but insignificant increasing amplitude in wavefront aberration compared with the off-flap group.


In comparison with on-flap epi-LASIK, off-flap epi-LASIK offers comparable postoperative pain, a lower level of haze formation, a rapider visual recovery, and better visual quality. Further investigations of a larger number of subjects and longer follow-up periods are warranted.

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