Laser in situ keratomileusis versus laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy for the correction of high myopia

Jin Kook Kim, Sung Soo Kim, Hyung Keun Lee, In Sik Lee, Gong Je Seong, Eung Kweon Kim, Sueng Han Han
Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery 2004, 30 (7): 1405-11

PURPOSE: To compare the visual and refractive outcomes of laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK) in the treatment of high myopia.

SETTING: Institute of Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, and Balgeunsesang Ophthalmology Clinic, Seoul, South Korea.

METHODS: Four hundred seventy eyes of 240 patients with manifest refraction spherical components greater than -6.00 diopters (D) were assigned to 2 groups: 324 eyes (167 patients) were treated with LASIK and 146 eyes (73 patients), with LASEK. Uncorrected visual acuity (UCVA), best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), remaining refractive error, corneal haze, and complications were followed in both groups for 12 months.

RESULTS: At 12 months, the mean spherical equivalent (SE) was within +/-0.50 D of emmetropia in 205 eyes (63.3%) in the LASIK group and 81 eyes (55.5%) in the LASEK group and within +/-1.00 D in 261 eyes (80.6%) and 104 eyes (71.2%), respectively. The UCVA was 20/25 or better in 269 LASIK eyes (83.0%) and 111 LASEK eyes (76.0%). There was more than a 1-line loss of BSCVA in 4 LASIK eyes (1.2%) and 21 LASEK eyes (14.3%). The between-group differences in SE, magnitude of cylinder, UCVA, and haze were statistically significant (P<.05).

CONCLUSIONS: Both LASIK and LASEK were safe and effectively treated eyes with high myopia. Laser in situ keratomileusis provided superior results in visual predictability and corneal opacity.

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