Purpose: To compare the postoperative conjunctival inflammation around the surgical site after pterygium surgery using either amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT) or free conjunctival autograft.
Design: Prospective, randomized, interventional study.
Methods: Forty-two eyes of 42 patients with primary pterygium underwent surgical excision followed by removal of subconjunctival fibrovascular tissue and intraoperative application of 0.02% mitomycin C. Then, the patients were randomized to receive either AMT (21 eyes) or free conjunctival autograft (21 eyes), with sutures used in both groups. Main outcome measures included presence of host conjunctival inflammation around the surgical site at 1 month after surgery and also recurrence of pterygium.
Results: Twelve-month follow-up was completed in 39 eyes of 39 patients (19 in the AMT group and 20 in the conjunctival autograft group). At 1 month after surgery, different grades of host conjunctival inflammation were present in 16 eyes (84.2%) in the AMT group and in 3 eyes (15%) in the conjunctival autograft group (P = .02). Subconjunctival injection of triamcinolone was performed in eyes with moderate or severe inflammation, which included 12 eyes (63.1%) in the AMT group and 2 eyes (10%) in the conjunctival autograft group (P < .001). Conjunctival recurrence of pterygium was seen in 2 eyes (10.5%) in the AMT group and in 2 eyes (10%) in the conjunctival autograft group (P = .92). After surgery, pyogenic granuloma developed in 3 eyes (15.8%) in the AMT group and in 1 eye (5%) in the conjunctival autograft group (P = .31).
Conclusions: After pterygium surgery, conjunctival inflammation was significantly more common with AMT than with conjunctival autograft. However, with control of such inflammation and intraoperative application of mitomycin C, similar final outcomes were achieved with both techniques.
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