Patients experienced less postoperative pain but slower epithelial defect healing rates after undergoing PRK compared with corneal cross-linking, according to a study.
The prospective case series included 34 patients who underwent PRK and 34 patients who underwent CXL. Postoperative pain was analyzed using generalized estimating equations, and the epithelial defect diameters of each patient were measured.
The epithelial defect size was significantly smaller in patients in the CXL group on the first postoperative day (P < .001), but the epithelial defects healed completely after 72 hours in both groups.
“The epithelial defect heals faster after corneal cross-linking resulting in smaller defect size than after photorefractive keratectomy, but the ocular pain is much greater in CXL patients. It suggests that post-surgical pain might be influenced by other factors rather than epithelial defect, such as inciting chemicals used in CXL or disturbed sub-basal nerve plexus in PRK,” Soheyla Jafarpour, MD, FICO, co-author of the study, told Healio.com/OSN.
Postoperative pain, according to the verbal rating scale, was significantly higher in the CXL group at all follow-up points compared with the PRK group (P = .019). The same was noted with the visual analogue scale, as patients in the CXL group experienced significantly higher pain scores compared with the PRK group (P = .041). At 7 days postop, a statistically significant decrease in pain was observed in both patient groups. – by Robert Linnehan
Disclosures: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.