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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

How predictable are the results of excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy? A review.

At the close of 1994, the AOA News reported that at least 14 companies were preparing to market equipment for excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). More than a dozen PRK centers had been formed for the purpose of recruiting optometrists to co-manage PRK patients. Because the surgery is a "no-touch" computer-driven procedure whose duration is measured in seconds, the preoperative and postoperative care of PRK patients will assume major importance. Optometrists who will be asked to take part in the management of PRK patients must be able to counsel patients on matters such as the predictability of the procedure in terms of postoperative refractive error and visual acuity, as well as the possibility of unintended consequences such as difficulty in night driving. Information currently available, mainly as a result of studies conducted in other countries, shows that the results of PRK are highly predictable for preoperative myopia up to about -3.00 D and somewhat less predictable for myopia between -3.00 and -6.00 D, whereas for myopia greater than -6.00 D the probability of achieving a full correction decreases rapidly with increasing amounts of myopia. As compared to radial keratotomy (RK) in which the postoperative refractive error drifts relentlessly in the hyperopic direction, PRK brings about an initial hyperopic shift followed by regression leading to increasing myopia. Researchers disagree on the cause of the postoperative hyperopic shift and regression, and on the value of various methods of controlling regression including the use of wider and deeper ablation profiles and the postoperative use of corticosteroids and nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs. It is too early to determine whether the myopic creep in PRK will be as persistent as the hyperopic creep in RK, but it is likely that whereas presbyopic post-RK patients may have adequate distance vision but require corrective lenses for reading, presbyopic post-PRK patients may be sufficiently myopic to require lenses for distance vision but not for reading.[1]


  1. How predictable are the results of excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy? A review. Grosvenor, T. Optometry and vision science : official publication of the American Academy of Optometry. (1995) [Pubmed]
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