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Comparison of Pterygium Recurrence Rates in Hispanic and White Patients After Primary Excision and Conjunctival Autograft

Kandavel, Rom MD; Kang, Joann J MD; Memarzadeh, Farnaz MD; Chuck, Roy S MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3181b11630
Clinical Science

Purpose: To evaluate the impact of Hispanic and white ethnicity on the recurrence rates of pterygia after primary excision and conjunctival autograft (CAG) in a southern California population.

Methods: A retrospective case-control review comparing 15 Hispanic and 11 white patients with primary nasal pterygia was performed. All participants received pterygium excision with superior limbal CAG by 1 of 3 surgeons and postoperative topical steroids for 2 months. The main outcome measure was recurrence after surgery, defined as fibrovascular tissue over the corneoscleral limbus onto clear cornea in the area of previous pterygium excision.

Results: Average duration of follow-up in the Hispanic and white groups were 9.3 ± 9.8 months and 13.0 ± 10.7 months, respectively (P = 0.39). During this follow-up period, there was a statistically significant difference in the pterygium recurrence rate between the Hispanic patients, 6 of 15 (40%), and the white patients, 0 of 11 (0%) (P = 0.02). The average time to recurrence was 3.4 ± 1.1 months (range, 1.9-5.0). The difference in average age, male/female composition, and follow-up time between the Hispanic and white patient groups studied was not found to be statistically significant (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: Hispanic ethnicity is a potentially important risk factor for recurrence of primary pterygia treated with CAG.

From the *University of California, Irvine, Colvard Eye Center, Encino, CA; †Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute, Columbia University, New York, NY; ‡Doheny Eye Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; and §Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.

Received for publication July 30, 2008; revision received May 16, 2009; accepted June 1, 2009

Supported by a National Institutes of Health grant (EY00412-01A1 to R.S.C.).

Presented in part at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Chicago, IL, October 2005.

R. Kandavel and J.J. Kang have contributed equally to this work.

Reprints: Roy S. Chuck, MD, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, 3332 Rochambeau Avenue Centennial Building, Rm. 306, Bronx, NY 10467 (e-mail:

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