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IKA 2024: Likelihood of progression in keratoconus patients

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Video

William Trattler, MD, talked about his session at the IKA 2024 Symposium that discussed the progression of keratoconus in patients and just how likely it is for them to progress and the importance of following up with these patients.

William Trattler, MD, talked about his session at the IKA 2024 Symposium that discussed the progression of keratoconus in patients and just how likely it is for them to progress and the importance of following up with these patients.

Video Transcript:

Editor's note: The below transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

William Trattler, MD:

Hi, I'm Bill Trattler, from Miami, Florida, and I'm here at the International Keratoconus Academy conference and I gave a talk today along with Justin Schweitzer and Steve Greenstein and we talked about considerations for patients with keratoconus. And 1 of the topics he talked about is how common patients may progress, keratoconus patients, how likely they may progress. And while there's a thought process that once you're over the age of 30 or 40, patients don't progress, we discussed a paper that I presented ASCRS last year that we looked at patients aged 40 to 81 and found that 41% of patients progressed looking at least 6 months of follow up. And so there's actually a good chunk of patients in our study, 41%, that can progress. And so it's therefore very important to follow patients with keratoconus every year to look for progression, especially the older patients. Don't assume that because they're over the age of 40, they're stable. And if they do progress, we discussed also that these patients are excellent candidates for undergoing cross-linking as a procedure, and it will be covered by their insurance typically because you've documented progression.

So these patients can benefit from the procedure to strengthen the cornea, stop their condition from progressing further, and actually often get improvement in the corneal shape.

I think one of the problems we have is that many patients are seen who are older and are told, "Listen, you're unlikely to be progressive, don't worry about things," where doctors may not repeat typography every single year. So our goal is really surveillance. We're trying to watch these patients and if they do progress, they can really benefit from the treatment because cross-linking can strengthen the cornea. And often these patients will get improvement in their corneal shape and vision over time, who discussed the importance of of cross-linking in all age groups, not just kids but also patients in the middle ages and older.

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