July 30, 2012
1 min read

Close monitoring needed for children with keratoconus

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Children are often at a more advanced stage of keratoconus when they are diagnosed, and the disease progresses more quickly in children than adults, according to a study. Therefore, it is important to detect the condition early and monitor the situation closely in young patients.

“Close monitoring of young keratoconus patients is necessary to detect any progression of the disease and to propose appropriate therapeutic measures,” the study authors said. “Recent technologies, such as topography, aberrometry, and the [Reichert] Ocular Response Analyzer, allow for an earlier diagnosis prior to the onset of functional or clinical signs of the disease.”

The retrospective monocentric study included 216 patients; 49 were 15 years or younger when they were diagnosed, and 167 were 27 years or older.

The study found 27.8% of children were at stage 4 upon diagnosis vs. 7.8% of adults (P < .0001). Mean values of maximum, average and minimum keratometry were higher in children (P < .0001, P = .0002 and P = .0005, respectively). Simulated keratometric astigmatism was also higher (P = .001).

Keratoconus is not more likely to progress in children, the authors noted, but it does so more quickly in children.

“Because of the risk of rapid scalability, even at an early disease stage, close monitoring of children is necessary in order to detect any sign of scalability and offer appropriate treatment,” the study authors said.