Higher order aberrations and relative risk of symptoms after LASIK

J Refract Surg. 2007 Mar;23(3):252-6.


Purpose: To understand what level of higher order aberrations increases the relative risk of visual symptoms in patients after myopic LASIK.

Methods: This study was a retrospective comparative analysis of 103 eyes of 62 patients divided in two groups, matched for age, gender, pupil size, and spherical equivalent refraction. The symptomatic group comprised 36 eyes of 24 patients after conventional LASIK with different laser systems evaluated in our referral clinic and the asymptomatic control group consisted of 67 eyes of 38 patients following LADARVision CustomCornea wavefront LASIK. Comparative analysis was performed for uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), contrast sensitivity, refractive cylinder, and higher order aberrations. Wavefront analysis was performed with the LADARWave aberrometer at 6.5-mm analysis for all eyes.

Results: Blurring of vision was the most common symptom (41.6%) followed by double image (19.4%), halo (16.7%), and fluctuation in vision (13.9%) in symptomatic patients. A statistically significant difference was noted in UCVA (P = .001), BSCVA (P = .001), contrast sensitivity (P < .001), and manifest cylinder (P = .001) in the two groups. The percentage difference between the symptomatic and control group mean root-mean-square (RMS) values ranged from 157% to 206% or 1.57 to 2.06 times greater.

Conclusions: Patients with visual symptoms after LASIK have significantly lower visual acuity and contrast sensitivity and higher mean RMS values for higher order aberrations than patients without symptoms. Root-mean-square values of greater than two times the normal after-LASIK population for any given laser platform may increase the relative risk of symptoms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Corneal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Corneal Diseases / etiology*
  • Corneal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ*
  • Male
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Vision Disorders / etiology*
  • Vision Disorders / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology