Purpose: To investigate safety of accelerated corneal crosslinking during the first postoperative month.
Methods: In this retrospective study, 76 eyes of 60 patients with verified progressive keratectasia were enrolled in this study and followed for 1 month after accelerated CXL (18 mW/cm2 for 5 min, radiant exposure 5.4 J/cm2) (A-CXL(5*18)). Preoperatively, objective refraction, slit lamp inspection, and corneal tomography were performed. Early postoperative slit lamp examinations were performed on days 1 and 4. At 1 month, objective refraction, slit lamp inspection, and corneal tomography were performed.
Results: Gender distribution was m:f = 55:21, OD:OS was 40:36, and the average age was 26.5 ± 8.6 years at surgery. Only 71 of the 76 eyes completed the 1-month follow-up, indicating a dropout rate of 6.6%. In 7.0% (n = 5), sterile infiltrates were observed; 5.6% of eyes (n = 4) showed delayed epithelial healing (> 4 days) in 2.8% (n = 2); an infection occurred and in 1 eye (1.4%), a stromal scar was detected; no other complications, neither a loss of two or more Snellen lines at 1 month postoperatively, were observed. As a risk factor for sterile infiltrates, thin preoperative pachymetry could be identified (p = 0.027).
Conclusions: This study revealed no difference in early postoperative safety between CXL using 18 mW/cm2 and standard corneal CXL. Thinner preoperative pachymetry could be identified predicting a higher rate of postoperative sterile infiltrates.
Keywords: 18 mW; Accelerated crosslinking; Corneal crosslinking; Keratectasia; Keratokonus; Sterile infiltrate.