Background: The administration of high doses of topical mitomycin C after pterygium excision causes a variety of complications.
Methods: Seventy-five patients who had advanced or recurrent pterygia underwent excision of pterygia, leaving the sclera bare. Patients were randomized in a masked fashion into three groups of 25 patients each. Patients in group 1 received topical 0.01% mitomycin C for 5 days, patients in group 2 received 0.02% mitomycin C for 5 days, and those in group 3 were treated with 1200 rad beta-irradiation. Patients were followed by a surgeon who was masked to the patient treatment. The mean follow-up period was 15.3 months.
Results: The recurrence rate after pterygium surgeries was 8% in group 1, 4% in group 2, and 20% in group 3. There were no statistical differences between the study groups. Delay of epithelialization for 8 weeks in one patient and degenerative calcification of conjunctiva 18 months after surgery in another patient, both from group 2, were the only complications in this study.
Conclusion: This study indicates the advantage of 0.01% mitomycin C for post-operative prevention of recurrence of pterygium.