To evaluate the safety and efficacy of mitomycin C (MMC) in haze formation after ultraviolet A/riboflavin corneal crosslinking (CXL) for progressive keratoconus.
A total of 60 keratoconic eyes of 48 patients were enrolled in this prospective comparative study after obtaining informed consent. In the CXL group, standard corneal CXL was performed, whereas in the CXL+MMC group, 0.02% MMC was used for 30 s soon after CXL. Comprehensive ophthalmologic examinations were performed on all patients before surgery and at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months after surgery.
The epithelium recovered within 3 to 4 days after CXL, and the healing time was comparable in the two groups. There was no significant endothelial cell density loss after CXL in both groups. Eyes in both groups showed improvement of uncorrected distance visual acuity (Snellen) and best-corrected visual acuity (Snellen; P<0.05), and there was a decrease in K-max, cylinder degree, and central corneal thickness (CCT) (P<0.05). There was no significant statistical difference between the groups regarding postoperative K-max reduction, refraction, and CCT (P>0.05). Corneal haze scores were significantly higher in the CXL group at 1 and 3 months after CXL (P=0.012 and P=0.028, respectively), but were similar to the MMC group at 6 and 12 months after surgery (P=0.329 and P=0.543, respectively).
Prophylactic intraoperative use of 0.02% MMC can significantly reduce CXL-associated haze formation, especially in the early postoperative period, and no signs of weakening CXL efficacy were observed.