Background: Corneal haze after photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) usually appears within 4 weeks after the procedure. A new type of corneal haze, starting relatively late after PRK, is reported.
Methods: The authors reviewed the files of their first 1000 consecutive patients who completed a follow-up of 12 months or more and identified all those who had clear corneas for at least 4 months, after which corneal haze appeared. The clinical course in these patients was evaluated.
Results: Late onset corneal haze (LOCH) had occurred in 18 eyes of 17 patients (incidence, 1.8%), appearing 4 to 12 months after PRK and resulting in decreased visual acuity and regression. Treatment with topical steroids or reoperation resulted in partial reversibility of haze and regression.
Conclusions: A new entity of LOCH is described. The appearance of LOCH suggests that corneal healing and remodeling continue for at least 1 year after PRK.