Purpose: To prove the long-term dampening effect of riboflavin- and ultraviolet-A-induced collagen crosslinking on progressive keratoconus.
Setting: Department of Ophthalmology, C.G. Carus University Hospital, Dresden, Germany.
Methods: Four hundred eighty eyes of 272 patients with progressive keratoconus were included in this long-term retrospective study. The maximum follow-up was 6 years. At the first and all follow-up examinations, refraction, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), corneal topography, corneal thickness, and intraocular pressure were recorded.
Results: The analysis included 241 eyes with a minimum follow-up of 6 months. The steepening decreased significantly by 2.68 diopters (D) in the first year, 2.21 D in the second year, and 4.84 D in the third year. The BCVA improved significantly (> or = 1 line) in 53% of 142 eyes in the first year, 57% of 66 eyes in the second year, and 58% of 33 eyes in the first year or remained stable (no lines lost) in 20%, 24%, and 29%, respectively. Two patients had continuous progression of keratoconus and had repeat crosslinking procedures.
Conclusions: Despite the low number of patients with a follow-up longer than 3 years, results indicate long-term stabilization and improvement after collagen crosslinking. Thus, collagen crosslinking is an effective therapeutical option for progressive keratoconus.