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GL Mayo, T Starck; LASIK Induced Neurotrophic Keratopathy (LINK): Incidence and Associated Risk Factors . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):2103.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To determine the incidence of and factors correlated with the occurrence of LASIK Induced Neurotrophic Keratopathy (LINK). Methods: Retrospective analysis of 120 pairs of eyes having undergone LASIK for the occurrence of LINK. Patients had no prior history of corneal pathology or dry eye syndrome and were followed for more than 6 months following LASIK. The criteria for the diagnosis of LINK was presence of punctate epithelial erosions beyond post operative week one with no other causative factor. All LASIK procedures were performed using the VISX Star S2 or S3. All patients had superior hinge flaps fashioned with a Hansatome® microkeratome with a diameter of either 8.5 or 9.5 mm. Multiple regression analyses were performed separately on right and left eyes to evaluate correlations between the occurrence of LINK and patient age, sex, and pachymetry. Results: The overall patient population had an age range of 18 to 69 years with a mean age of 44 years. There were 130 females and 110 males. Corneal pachymetry ranged from 459 to 642 microns with a mean of 553 microns. LINK was found in 20 patients and 40 eyes for an incidence of 16.7%. Patients with LINK had an age range of 23 to 59 years with a mean age of 41 years. There were 33 females and 7 males. Corneal pachymetry ranged from 480 to 611 microns with a mean of 546 microns. Patients without LINK had an age range of 18 to 69 years with a mean age of 44 years. There were 97 females and 103 males. Corneal pachymetry ranged from 459 to 642 microns with a mean of 555 microns. A statistically significant correlation was found between female sex and the occurrence of LINK (p < 0.02). No correlation was found between patient age or corneal pachymetry and the occurrence of LINK. Conclusion: LINK was found to occur in a significant proportion of patients having undergone LASIK. Patients with increasing age and thinner corneas, within the age and pachymetry ranges of the study population, do not appear to have any increased incidence of LINK. Female patients do appear to be at a statistically significant higher risk for the development of LINK, with a relative risk of 4.7.
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