Corneal Endothelial Cell Density After Femtosecond Thin-flap LASIK and PRK for Myopia: A Contralateral Eye Study
To compare the effect of femtosecond thin-flap LASIK and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) on postoperative endothelial cell density.
In a prospective, randomized, contralateral, single-center clinical trial, 25 patients (mean age: 30 ± 5 years [range: 21 to 38 years]) underwent PRK in one eye and thin-flap LASIK in the fellow eye for the correction of myopia using a wavefront-guided platform. The central corneal endothelial cell density was measured using the Nidek Confoscan 4 preoperatively, and at 1 and 3 months postoperatively. Changes in endothelial cell density were analyzed over time between the two refractive techniques.
In PRK, the average preoperative endothelial cell density was 3011±329 cells/mm2, which decreased to 2951±327 cells/mm2 at 1 month (P=.5736) and 2982±365 cells/mm2 at 3 months (P=.6513). In thin-flap LASIK, the average preoperative endothelial cell density was 2995±325 cells/mm2, which decreased to 2977±358 cells/mm2 at 1 month (P=.5756) and 2931±369 cells/mm2 at 3 months (P=.4106). No statistically significant difference was found between the two groups at 1 (P=.7404) or 3 (P=.3208) months postoperatively.
No statistically significant change was noted in endothelial cell density following either PRK or thin-flap LASIK for the treatment of myopia. Furthermore, no statistically significant difference was found between the two groups out to 3 months postoperatively, indicating that thin-flap LASIK is as safe as PRK with regards to endo-thelial health.
[J Refract Surg. 2009;25:1098-1102.]