Risk Factors for Recurrence After Pterygium Surgery: An Image Analysis Study

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Purpose:To determine the risk factors related to recurrence of pterygium using automated image analysis.Methods:This study included 149 eyes of 149 patients who underwent pterygium excision and limbal–conjunctival autograft. Demographic variables including age and sex were collected. Image analysis was performed using anterior segment photographs taken preoperatively to measure relative length (horizontal length of pterygium invading cornea/horizontal corneal diameter), relative width (width of pterygium invading cornea/vertical corneal diameter), relative area (RA; area of pterygium invading cornea/total corneal area), and vascularity index (VI; degree of vascularity). In all patients, recurrence of pterygium was determined at 1 year after surgery. Association between these factors and recurrence rate was evaluated with univariate and multivariate analyses.Results:Recurrence at 1 year was reported in 18.8% (28/149) of the patients. Univariate analysis showed that relative length (P = 0.001), relative width (P = 0.031), relative area (P = 0.009), and VI (P < 0.001) were significantly associated with increased risk of recurrence, whereas age and sex had no significant association with recurrence. In multivariate analysis, only VI (P < 0.001) had significant correlation with recurrence. Patients with VI ≥30 had significantly higher recurrence rate than those with VI <30 (33.3% vs. 8.1%, P < 0.001).Conclusions:Increased vascularity was associated with a higher risk of recurrence. Quantification of vascularity using automated image analysis might be useful in predicting the risk of recurrence.

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