BACKGROUND: Our aim was to examine the change in astigmatism after spherical photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). These effects are essential to optimizing photoastigmatic refractive keratectomy (PARK) to correct astigmatism to within fractions of a diopter. METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed 98 eyes of 178 patients with mild to moderate myopia and cylinder ≤1.00 diopter (D) treated with spherical PRK (VISX 20/20 STAR excimer laser system); 31 eyes had epithelium removed mechanically with a blade and 67 eyes by a laser-scrape technique. RESULTS: Refractive astigmatism was reduced by greater than 0.25 D in 27 eyes (28%); refractive astigmatism was induced by greater than 0.25 D in 31 eyes (32%); the average vector-corrected difference between an eye's astigmatism before and after surgery was 0.01 ± 0.52 D (P=.85). Eyes with high topographic astigmatism but low refractive cylinder before PRK showed an average of 0.07 ± -0.60 D change in refractive cylinder after PRK. Refractive astigmatism of more than 0.25 D was induced in 16 eyes (44%) that received manual removal of epithelium versus 15 eyes (24%) that received laser removal of epithelium (odds ratio 2.51, P<.01). CONCLUSIONS: When using PRK for astigmatism correction, refractive cylinder before surgery rather than topographic astigmatism may be the most appropriate method for targeting the astigmatism correction, especially when the two values are discordant. An unpredictable mild increase or decrease in astigmatism may be expected.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Refractive Surgery|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1998|
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