The effect of different pterygium surgery techniques on the ocular surface parameters in different durations: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2024 May;262(5):1383-1396. doi: 10.1007/s00417-023-06191-1. Epub 2023 Aug 15.


Purpose: To evaluate the effects of different pterygium surgery techniques on ocular surface (OS) in different follow-up periods.

Methods: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Wan Fang, and China Biology Medicine disc were searched for studies reporting pre- and post-operative OS parameters in pterygium.

Results: A total of 33 articles were finally included. Three OS parameters showed relatively consistent changing trends after surgery including ocular surface disease index (OSDI), tear film break-up time (BUT), and score of corneal fluorescein staining (SCFS). They worsened significantly at 1w post-operation and then gradually improved: OSDI and BUT showed obvious improvement in 1 m post-operation (SMD = - 0.58, 95%CI = [- 1.04, - 0.13]; SMD = 0.42, 95%CI = [0.06, 0.78]); SCFS was restored to preoperative levels in 3 m after surgery (SMD = - 0.54, 95%CI = [- 1.16, 0.07]). Another parameter, Schirmer test without anesthesia (SIT), presented transient increase at 1w post-operation (SMD = 0.87, 95%CI = [0.27, 1.47]) and presented a relatively stable improvement after 1 m post-operation (SMD = 0.52, 95%CI = [0.16, 0.89]). All parameters in amniotic membrane graft (AMT) showed better improvement in early stage and they showed non-inferior improvements in the long term compared with conjunctival autograft (CAG). Limbal-conjunctival autograft (LCAG) made excellent improvement to OS in the long term while pterygium excision (PE) showed the worst OS. The type of pterygium (primary and secondary), diabetes mellitus (DM) status, and fixation method had certain effects on the results.

Conclusions: OS of pterygium is deteriorated at 1w post-operation then gradually improved to preoperative levels after 1 m post-operation. Among various surgery techniques, LCAG had the best improvement to OS which especially displayed in the long-term outcomes.

Keywords: Amniotic membrane graft; Conjunctival autograft; Limbal conjunctival autograft; Ocular surface; Pterygium surgery; Tear film.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conjunctiva / abnormalities*
  • Conjunctiva / transplantation
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Pterygium* / surgery
  • Recurrence
  • Transplantation, Autologous

Supplementary concepts

  • Pterygium Of Conjunctiva And Cornea