To evaluate the effect of pterygium excision on the posterior corneal surface and analyze the factors associated with those changes.
A prospective, interventional study including 33 eyes of 31 patients who underwent pterygium excision at the Tel Aviv Medical Center (Tel Aviv, Israel). Exclusion criteria included corneal dystrophy, pseudopterygium, corneal scarring, or previous ocular surgery in the treated eye. Data were obtained by using the Galilei dual Scheimpflug analyzer. Recorded posterior corneal data included steep keratometry, flat keratometry, mean keratometry, corneal astigmatism, best-fit sphere, and the squared eccentricity index (e2). Posterior surgically induced astigmatism (SIA) was calculated to demonstrate the astigmatic effect of surgery. Anterior-segment high resolution optical coherence tomography was used to measure pterygium dimensions (depth and horizontal/vertical size).
The mean age was 53.7 ± 16.7 years. Posterior corneal SIA was 0.9 ± 1.1 D (P < 0.001) and was significantly correlated with age (r = 0.568, P = 0.002), horizontal pterygium size (r = 0.387, P = 0.046), and preoperative posterior astigmatism (r = 0.688, P < 0.001). In a multivariable analysis, only age (coefficient = 0.010, P = 0.038) and preoperative posterior astigmatism (coefficient = 0.648, P = 0.002) remained significant. Pterygium dimensions were not significantly associated with SIA magnitude. Flat keratometry steepened by 0.5 ± 1.1 D (P = 0.019), mean keratometry steepened by 0.3 ±0.6 D (P = 0.035), posterior astigmatism was reduced by 0.4 ± 1.2 D (P = 0.072), and e2 decreased by 5.1 ± 17.3 (P = 0.021).
Pterygium excision has a significant astigmatic effect on the posterior corneal surface. The astigmatic effect increases with age and with higher preoperative posterior astigmatism. Pterygium depth and size are not associated with the degree of surgical astigmatic effect.