Review of Laser Vision Correction (LASIK, PRK and SMILE) with Simultaneous Accelerated Corneal Crosslinking - Long-term Results

Curr Eye Res. 2019 Nov;44(11):1171-1180. doi: 10.1080/02713683.2019.1656749. Epub 2019 Aug 23.


Purpose: Laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) are safe and effective refractive surgical procedures. However, complications include regression of treatment and iatrogenic keratectasia which can be severe and sight-threatening. In order to reduce these complications, simultaneous corneal cross-linking (CXL) is currently being added to these refractive procedures. This review analyses current long-term literature (≥ 1 year follow-up) on refractive surgery and simultaneous CXL (LASIK Xtra, PRK Xtra and SMILE Xtra) to determine its overall safety and efficacy.Methods: A comprehensive literature search of various electronic databases (PubMed, PubMed Central and MEDLINE) was performed up to 9th February 2019. Efficacy and safety indices are calculated where possible.Results: Ten relevant studies were found for LASIK Xtra, 4 for PRK Xtra and 1 for SMILE Xtra. The total number of eyes included in this review was 1,189: 347 eyes for LASIK Xtra, 300 eyes for LASIK-only, 298 for PRK Xtra, 204 for PRK-only, 40 for SMILE Xtra and none for SMILE-only. Current studies show that refractive surgery and simultaneous CXL produces comparable or better results in terms of refractive and keratometric stability than refractive surgery alone. However, case reports of complications such as corneal ectasia, diffuse lamellar keratitis and central toxic keratopathy have also recently been published.Conclusions: Simultaneous accelerated CXL and refractive surgery is effective for the treatment of myopia. However, it is as yet unclear if the additional CXL step reduces the incidence of iatrogenic keratectasia. Further long-term comparative studies would be useful in evaluating safety and efficacy of this procedure. More research should also be performed to titrate the UV-A irradiation settings for an optimal outcome.

Keywords: LASIK Xtra; PRK Xtra; SMILE Xtra; accelerated cross-linking; refractive surgery.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Collagen / pharmacology*
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cornea / surgery
  • Corneal Surgery, Laser / methods*
  • Cross-Linking Reagents / therapeutic use*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / methods
  • Lasers, Excimer / therapeutic use*
  • Myopia / drug therapy
  • Myopia / surgery*
  • Photochemotherapy / methods*
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy / methods
  • Time Factors
  • Visual Acuity*


  • Cross-Linking Reagents
  • Collagen