Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica  79  (1), 23-27
DOI:10.1034/j.1600-0420.2001.079001023.x
Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica

The effect of early steroid treatment after PRK on clinical and refractive outcomes
Michele Vetrugno, Anna Maino, Grazia Maria Quaranta and Luigi Cardia

Purpose:

To evaluate the effects of steroid treatment administered in the first days after excimer laser keratectomy (PRK) on re-epithelialization time, postoperative pain, haze and refractive outcome.

Methods:

A randomised, double masked trial was carried out on two groups of patients (40 patients each), who underwent PRK. Group A (steroid group) received 0.1% fluorometholone acetate whereas group B (NSAID group) received 0.5% ketorolac tromethamine until re-epithelialization was completed. Subsequently, all 80 patients received the same steroid treatment: 0.1% fluorometholone acetate for myopic corrections up to -5 D, or dexamethasone for myopic corrections exceeding 5 D. Both drugs were tapered off over approximately 3 months. Follow-up examinations were planned at 1, 3, 6, 12 months after surgery.

Results:

Re-epithelialization was completed after three days, without any significant difference between groups. A higher hyperopic shift was shown in the steroid group and a more severe regression was reported in the NSAID group (p<0.001). Haze was significantly reduced in the steroid group (p=0.005), especially for myopic corrections over -5 D (p=0.015). Pain was significantly reduced in the NSAID group (p=0.002).

Conclusion:

Steroid eyedrops administered in the first days after PRK did not affect re-epithelialization time. Moreover, a modulation of the inflammatory response in this period appears to reduce haze and myopic regression in high myopic patients.