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J Refract Surg. 1996 Jan-Feb;12(1):68-76.

Arcuate transverse keratotomy for astigmatism followed by subsequent radial or transverse keratotomy. ARC-T Study Group. Astigmatism Reduction Clinical Trial.

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Cornea Research Foundation of America, Indianapolis, Ind, USA.



We studied the safety and efficacy of arcuate transverse keratotomy performed for the primary correction of naturally occurring corneal astigmatism.


A multicenter, prospective evaluation of one-stage arcuate transverse keratotomy was conducted in 160 eyes with 1.00 to 6.00 diopters (D) of naturally occurring astigmatism. Vector analysis was used. After 1 month, those eyes that needed further refractive surgery received radial keratotomy for myopia and second-stage arcuate transverse keratotomy for residual astigmatism.


Mean preoperative refractive cylinder was 2.80 D. At 1 month, the vector-corrected change was 2.30 D. Eighty-eight (61%) eyes had at least 1.00 D of residual refractive cylinder and 24 (17%) had at least 2.00 D. Eyes undergoing a second surgery averaged 1.60 D of vector-corrected effect, for a total effect of 2.90 D from both surgeries, indicating the astigmatic refractive effects were not additive. Eyes that had radial keratotomy alone as the second surgery demonstrated a similar change in refractive cylinder as eyes that had both radial and transverse keratotomies. Two eyes lost two lines of spectacle-corrected visual acuity, 29 eyes lost one line, 84 showed no change, and 26 eyes improved one line.


Arcuate transverse keratotomy reduced refractive astigmatism. Both overcorrection and undercorrection were common. Complications were infrequent but occasionally caused significant irregular astigmatism. Arcuate transverse keratotomy appears to be a safe procedure with few complications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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