Purpose: To relate myopic regression after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) to subepithelial haze at the first postoperative month.
Methods: One hundred nineteen eyes of 119 patients underwent excimer laser PRK for treatment of myopia up to -8.00 D. Eyes were examined at 1, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after surgery. All eyes received fluorometholone 0.1% for the first 5 postoperative months in a tapered dose. Dexamethasone 0.1% qid for 1 month was prescribed to all eyes with a spherical equivalent refraction less than plano, followed by an augmented dose of fluorometholone 0.1%. Eyes with myopia greater than -0.75 D at 12 months, as well as those that had received dexamethasone at any postoperative interval--regardless of refractive outcome--were considered to be regressed. Eyes that regressed and those that did not regress were compared statistically (Chi-squared statistical criterion with Yate's correction) regarding haze grade.
Results: Forty-seven percent (56 of 119) of eyes regressed. In 89.28% (50 of 56) of eyes, subepithelial haze grade was 1 to 2, and in 10.71% (6 of 56), subepithelial haze was graded 0 to 0.5 at 1 month. Fifty-three percent of eyes (63 of 119) did not regress and in all, subepithelial haze was graded 0 to 0.5 at the first month. The correlation between regression and haze grade 1 or more at the first postoperative month was statistically significant (P<.001).
Conclusion: Mild to marked subepithelial haze (grade 1 to 2) at the first postoperative month after PRK for myopia is strongly related to regression of initial refractive effect and increasing myopia.