Long-term follow-up of astigmatic keratotomy for corneal astigmatism after penetrating keratoplasty

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To report the long-term stability of paired arcuate corneal keratotomies (AKs) in patients with high regular postpenetrating keratoplasty astigmatism.


Retrospective chart review of best-corrected visual acuity, refraction and keratometric values of 41 eyes with AK between 2003 and 2012.


Magnitude of median target induced astigmatism vector was 9.2 dioptres (Dpt). We reached a median magnitude of surgically induced astigmatism vector of 9.81 Dpt and a median magnitude of difference vector of 5.5 Dpt. In keratometry, we achieved a net median astigmatism reduction by 3.3 Dpt. The average correction index was 1.14, showing a slight overcorrection. Irregularity of keratometric astigmatism increased by 0.6 Dpt, and spherical equivalent changed by 1.75 Dpt. Monocular best spectacle corrected visual acuity increased from preoperatively 20/63 (0.5 logMAR) to 20/40 (0.3 logMAR) postoperatively. Median gain on the ETDRS chart was two lines. Long-term follow-up showed a median keratometric astigmatic increase by 0.3 Dpt per year.


Arcuate corneal keratotomies is a safe and effective method to reduce high regular corneal astigmatism following penetrating keratoplasty but has limited predictability. The long-term follow-up shows an increase of keratometric astigmatism by 0.3 Dpt/year, equalizing the surgical effect after 10 years.

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