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Cornea. 2019 Jul 24. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000002088. [Epub ahead of print]

Topography and Pachymetry Guided, Rapid Epi-on Corneal Cross-Linking for Keratoconus: 7-year Study Results.

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Corneal Transplant Center, Pellegrini Hospital, Naples, Italy.
The Center for Corrective Eye Surgery, LLC, Mc Henry, IL.
Eye Clinic Fatebenefratelli Hospital, Italy.
Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of Naples "Federico II," Naples, Italy.
Institute of Refractive and Ophthalmic Surgery (IROS), Naples, Italy.
Department of Medicine and Health Science "V. Tiberio," Università del Molise, Campobasso, Italy.



To evaluate custom fast cross-linking (cfCXL) treatment of keratoconus.


"Custom fast cross-linking" or "cfCXL" is a keratoconus treatment algorithm featuring no epithelial disruption, 15 minutes of corneal presoaking with a riboflavin-vitamin E TPGS solution, and a 370-nm ultraviolet A radiation beam centered on the most highly curved corneal region. Ultraviolet A radiation beam fluence, total energy, and exposure time are significantly less than those in the Dresden protocol. In this study, refraction, spectacle-corrected distance visual acuity, Kmax, and corneal hysteresis were monitored in 81 eyes of 81 patients for 7 years with 100% follow-up. Pretreatment Kmax and patient age averaged 53.01 ± 4.87 D and 25.9 ± 4.7 years, respectively.


Average refractive cylinder magnitude was reduced by 26.1% at 1 month postoperatively and by 44.2% at 7 years postoperatively. Logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution average spectacle-corrected distance visual acuity (best spectacle-corrected distance visual acuity) improved from +0.26 ± 0.34 (20/36.4) to +0.15 ± 0.23 (20/28.25), +0.05 ± 0.20 (20/22.4), and +0.06 ± 0.20 (20/22.96) at 1 month, 1 year, and 7 years postoperatively, respectively. Best spectacle-corrected distance visual acuity improved in 54.3%, 74.1%, 84.0%, 87.7%, 84.0%, 84.0%, and 82.7% of patients at postoperative months 1, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, and 84, respectively. Kmax did not increase in 96.3% of patients at 1 month, 97.5% at 1 year, and 98.8% at 7 years postoperatively, with average corneal apex flattening at 1 month and 7 years of -2.79 ± 1.70 D and -4.00 ± 2.40 D, respectively.


Custom fast cross-linking, epi-on, rapid, narrowed beam apex-centered treatment of keratoconus with riboflavin-vitamin E TPGS produced a significant, rapid, and lasting cone progression stoppage, astigmatism reduction, and visual acuity improvement.

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