Epikeratophakia for keratoconus. The nationwide study

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986 Sep;104(9):1294-300. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1986.01050210048024.


The nationwide study of epikeratophakia for the treatment of keratoconus involved 69 surgeons in the United States; they operated on 177 eyes as of Dec 31, 1985. In this first report, the results from 35 surgeons involving 82 cases with 30 or more days of follow-up after suture removal are described. In all but two patients, uncorrected visual acuity improved; 17 patients showed improvement of three Snellen lines, and 38 patients showed improvement of four or more lines. The majority of patients' vision returned to within one line of their best corrected acuity; in 78% it was 20/40 or better postoperatively. Eight patients needed no postoperative overrefraction at all. The mean flattening by keratometry readings was 9.36 diopters, and the mean decrease in myopia in terms of spherical equivalent was 5.26 D. No significant changes in intraocular pressure or endothelial cell counts were noted. Some advantages of epikeratophakia for keratoconus over the traditional penetrating keratoplasty include the lack of serious, vision-threatening complications or permanent vision loss, the reversible nature of the surgery, and the absence of potential immunogenic rejection phenomena.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cell Count
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Cornea / surgery
  • Corneal Transplantation*
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Keratoconus / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Reoperation
  • Suture Techniques
  • Transplantation Immunology
  • Visual Acuity*