A new study published in Cornea reveals results of long-term follow up post-corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL)—and the data is promising.

Researchers looked at 62 eyes of 47 pediatric (ages 18 and younger) keratoconic patients who underwent epithelium-off CXL and evaluated uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), Scheimpflug corneal tomography and optical coherence tomography demarcation line measurement at baseline and up to 10 years after treatment. They found CXL was effective at slowing keratoconus progression in nearly 80% of study participants, while also improving functional performance.

They did note that between the seven- and 10-year follow ups, 21% of patients showed a Kmax progression of more than 1D, returning to baseline values without a decline of one or more lines in either UDVA or CDVA. Only two subjects, both younger than age 15 at time of procedure, required CXL retreatment.

“Parents of the younger patients must be clearly informed at the time of CXL therapy that seven to 10 years after CXL, the corneal collagen turnover may induce loss of CXL effect duration with new KC instability or progression, so the treatment could be potentially repeated if necessary in nearly 25% of the patients,” the study concludes.

Mazzotta C, Traversi C, Baiocchi S, et al. Corneal collagen cross-linking with riboflavin and ultraviolet a light for pediatric keratoconus: ten-year results. Cornea. 2018;37(5):560-6.