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J Refract Surg. 2009 Jul;25(7):569-77.

Stability of LASIK in topographically suspect keratoconus confirmed non-keratoconic by Artemis VHF digital ultrasound epithelial thickness mapping: 1-year follow-up.

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London Vision Clinic, London, United Kingdom.



To determine the 1-year stability of LASIK in corneas with topographic suspect keratoconus confirmed as non-keratoconic by epithelial thickness mapping.


This was a retrospective case/control comparative study. Eyes suspected of keratoconus using criteria based mainly on Atlas (Carl Zeiss Meditec AG) and Orbscan II (Bausch & Lomb) topography were scanned by Artemis very high-frequency digital ultrasound (ArcScan Inc). Keratoconus was confirmed if the epithelial thickness profile showed relative epithelial thinning coincident with an eccentric posterior elevation best-fit sphere apex. Laser in situ keratomileusis was performed in all eyes where keratoconus was excluded by finding relatively thicker epithelium or not finding localized thinning over the topographically suspected cone. Patients were followed for 1 year after LASIK. A control group was generated matched within 0.50 diopter (D) for sphere, cylinder, and spherical equivalent refraction (SEQ) to compare refractive stability.


The average change in SEQ between 3 and 12 months was -0.10+/-0.30 D for the suspect keratoconus group and -0.10+/-0.28 D for controls. No statistically significant difference in shift from 3 months to 12 months in SEQ or cylinder between groups was noted. No statistically significant change in best spectacle-corrected visual acuity between groups was noted, with no eye losing 2 lines and 5% in the suspect keratoconus group and 2% of controls losing 1 line. No cases of ectasia were observed in either group.


Suspect keratoconus, confirmed to be non-keratoconic by epithelial thickness profile criteria demonstrated equal stability to control eyes 1 year after LASIK. Epithelial thickness profiles may enable LASIK to be performed in eyes that would otherwise have been excluded due to topographic suspect keratoconus. Further follow-up is being carried out.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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