Corneal haze post photorefractive keratectomy

J Fr Ophtalmol. 2021 Nov;44(9):1425-1438. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2021.05.006. Epub 2021 Sep 17.


Corneal haze represents subepithelial corneal fibrosis, a manifestation of a pathological healing process. It occurs as a result of an epithelial-stromal lesion involving a break in the epithelial barrier. It is an inflammatory response that involves the migration, multiplication and differentiation of keratocytes into mature myofibroblasts, causing loss of corneal transparency. Although it is a transient phenomenon, this complication is feared following refractive photokeratectomy (PRK), because it can cause alterations in the quality of vision, refractive regression and decreased visual acuity. The severity of these symptoms is correlated with the severity of the corneal haze, which can be assessed clinically or by objective means such as corneal densitometry measurement. The frequency and severity of corneal haze increase with the depth of photoablation in PRK and are therefore increased during the treatment of severe ametropia. Considering that no consensus exists, the application of mitomycin C (MMC) intraoperatively and topical corticosteroids postoperatively are conventionally used to inhibit collagen synthesis, sometimes in combination with various protocols depending on the center or surgeon. This review of the literature reports the current knowledge on corneal haze, in order to better understand it and optimise its prevention in the context of a decreased MMC supply, which has occurred in the past and could recur in the future.

Keywords: Cicatrisation cornéenne; Corneal densitometry; Corneal haze; Corneal healing process; Corticosteroids; Corticoïdes; Densitométrie cornéenne; Haze cornéen; Mitomycin C; Mitomycine C; Photo-kératectomie réfractive; Photorefractive keratectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cornea
  • Corneal Opacity* / diagnosis
  • Corneal Opacity* / etiology
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Excimer / adverse effects
  • Mitomycin
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy*


  • Mitomycin