Comparative evaluation of progression rate in keratoconus before and after collagen crosslinking

progression, keratoconus, collagen, crosslinking

2017 Nov 9. pii: bjophthalmol-2017-311017. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2017-311017. [Epub ahead of print]

Comparative evaluation of progression rate in keratoconus before and after collagen crosslinking.



To compare the rate of disease progression in keratoconus before and after corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL).


145 eyes were followed without CXL (no-CXL group) for a median duration of 31 months whereas 45 eyes were followed up for 41 months before (pre-CXL) and after (post-CXL) accelerated, epithelium-off crosslinking. Progression was defined based on significant slope found in linear mixed effect models against time. Swept-source optical coherence tomography was used for measurement of anterior steep keratometry, anterior flat keratometry (Ant Kf), anterior average keratometry (Ant Avg K); posterior steep keratometry, posteriorflat keratometry (Post Kf), posterior average keratometry (Post Avg K) and corneal thickness.


The patients in pre-CXL group were significantly younger (26.3±5.48 years) compared with the patients in no-CXL group (32.7±10.24 years) (P=0.004). Significant differences were observed during baseline examination for all parameters (P≤0.035) between pre-CXL and no-CXL groups except Ant Cyl and Post Cyl. During observation period, statistically significant differences were noted between pre-CXL and no-CXL groups in the progression rate of Ant Kf, Ant Avg K, Post Kf and Post Avg K (P≤0.045). After CXL, the progression rate in post-CXL group was comparable to that in no-CXL group. All corneal parameters remained stable in no-CXL group throughout the follow-up period.


Serial tomographic examination is useful to document disease progression before and after CXL. In our study, a decrease in progression rate of corneal parameters was noted after CXL. In cases with stable corneal parameters over time, careful monitoring can be considered instead of collagen crosslinking.

progression, keratoconus, collagen, crosslinking:

cornea; imaging; treatment other