Ocular optical aberrations after photorefractive keratectomy for myopia and myopic astigmatism

Arch Ophthalmol. 2000 Jan;118(1):17-21. doi: 10.1001/archopht.118.1.17.


Objectives: To study the effects of photorefractive keratectomy on ocular optical aberrations and to establish correlations with glare vision and low-contrast vision.

Methods: Preoperative ocular aberroscopy of 15 eyes undergoing photorefractive keratectomy was compared with aberroscopy at 3 months postoperatively by means of a newly developed automated aberroscope of the Tscherning type. The correlation of the wavefront errors with best spectacle-corrected visual acuity, low-contrast visual acuity, and visual acuity under glare conditions was analyzed.

Results: In any individual treated, the total wavefront error increased. On average, the total wavefront error increased by a factor of 17.65; this increase was highly statistically significant (P = .001). Also, the correlation with best-corrected visual acuity, low-contrast visual acuity, and glare visual acuity was statistically significant (P = .02, P = .001, and P = .03, respectively). The increase in ocular aberrations was significantly related with the virtual pupil size.

Conclusions: Photorefractive keratectomy increases the ocular aberrations, impairing the visual performance of the eyes treated. In detail, scotopic visual measures such as low-contrast visual acuity and glare visual acuity suffer most from the myopia correction. Aberroscopy-guided photorefractive keratectomy may avoid such effects.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms
  • Astigmatism / surgery*
  • Contrast Sensitivity*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological / instrumentation
  • Glare*
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Excimer
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy / adverse effects*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Visual Acuity*