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, 34 Suppl 10, S16-23

Contemporary Treatment Paradigms in Keratoconus


Contemporary Treatment Paradigms in Keratoconus

Charles N J McGhee et al. Cornea.


The past 20 years have witnessed an explosion in our knowledge of keratoconus, accompanied by a radical transformation of management options. A 2-hit hypothesis proposes an underlying genetic predisposition coupled with external environmental factors, including eye rubbing and atopy. The variable prevalence and natural history have been better defined including significant cone progression in middle age. Therefore, current management must include early diagnosis, regular monitoring, and treatment of environmental cofactors. Spectacles and contact lenses remain fundamental to the optical management of keratoconus. Intrastromal corneal ring segments have been increasingly used, providing improvement in the corneal shape, corrected visual acuity, and contact lens wear. However, like contact lenses, intrastromal corneal ring segments do not treat the underlying disease process. Therefore, current approaches must also consider treatments to minimize keratoconus progression. Fortunately, there is increasing evidence that corneal collagen crosslinking will halt or slow progression in most cases. Until relatively recently, penetrating keratoplasty was the preferred intervention for advanced keratoconus, with long-term success in the region of 90%; however, the greatest risk of failure remains endothelial allograft rejection. Deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty has emerged in the new millennium as a preferred approach to conserve the host endothelium and avoid rejection. Nonetheless, the overall superiority of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty compared with penetrating keratoplasty, in terms of optical and survival benefits, is still debated. This perspective provides an overview of our current knowledge of keratoconus and current management options. A step-ladder approach to managing keratoconus is outlined to provide the practitioner with a contemporary management paradigm.

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