By: Suzanne Erpenbach
Feb 11, 2014
Collagen cross linking (CXL) with UVA is currently being tested in the United States under protocols established for clinical trials. This promising technology for treating keratoconus has been used in Europe for several years and has been shown to be a safe and effective way to stop the progression of this eye disease. This treatment is recommended for individuals with progressive keratoconus and for those patients experiencing ectasia following LASIK surgery. Our eye clinic is one of the centers in the U.S. that has received approval to participate in the FDA clinical trial and we are currently enrolling patients under FDA protocols.
The procedure is painless. The top layer of the cornea is removed under topical anesthesia. A solution containing riboflavin is applied to the cornea until it penetrates the entire cornea and into the anterior chamber of the eye. This penetration is confirmed by a slit-lamp evaluation. Once this is confirmed, the patient is placed under a specialized lamp which emits UV light at a predetermined wavelength for a predetermined amount of time. This process increases the formation of collagen bonds and increases collagen fiber diameter which increases corneal tissue strength and stabilizes the cornea. A contact lens is placed on the treated eye and the patient is directed to use antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops and return for regular follow-up appointments.
The chief goal for performing this treatment is to halt the progression of keratoconus and ectasia and thereby reduce the need for corneal transplants. There is sufficient peer-reviewed evidence to support the safety and effectiveness of corneal cross linking. This technology could potentially be used to treat other types of corneal disease in the future once final testing has been completed and the procedure approved. We, at The Eye Clinic Surgicenter, are excited to be a part of this study and the opportunity to help our patients dealing with keratoconus and ectasia.