The effect of topical corticosteroids on refractive outcome and corneal haze after photorefractive keratectomy. A prospective, randomized, double-blind trial

Arch Ophthalmol. 1992 Jul;110(7):944-52. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1992.01080190050028.


In this study, we report the results of a prospective, double-blind trial to determine whether high-dose topical corticosteroids have an effect on refractive outcome or anterior stromal haze after photorefractive keratectomy. A total of 113 patients were allocated randomly to either placebo- or steroid-treated groups (0.1% dexamethasone metasulphobenzoate for 3 months) and underwent either -3.00-diopter (D) or -6.00-D procedures. At 6 weeks, the mean change in refraction was significantly greater in the steroid-treated group than in the placebo-treated group (-3.00-D group, P = .0015; -6.00-D group, P = .0011). However, when corticosteroids were discontinued at 3 months, this difference became statistically insignificant. There was no statistically significant effect on anterior stromal haze at any stage. Since long-term use of corticosteroids to maintain the initial beneficial effect on refraction would be unacceptable, we conclude that these agents should not be used after photorefractive keratectomy.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chloramphenicol / administration & dosage
  • Corneal Opacity / prevention & control*
  • Cyclopentolate / administration & dosage
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / drug effects
  • Laser Therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Phenylephrine / administration & dosage
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Refraction, Ocular*
  • Time Factors
  • Tropanes / administration & dosage
  • Wound Healing / drug effects*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Tropanes
  • Phenylephrine
  • Chloramphenicol
  • homatropine
  • Cyclopentolate