Long-term outcome data positive for pediatric LASIK

April 24, 2012

Results from 10 years of follow-up support consideration of LASIK in select children with severe myopic anisometropia where conventional treatment methods have failed, said Claire Hartnett, MD.

Chicago-Results from 10 years of follow-up support consideration of LASIK in select children with severe myopic anisometropia where conventional treatment methods have failed, said Claire Hartnett, MD.

Dr. Hartnett, Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, Ireland, presented outcomes from seven eyes of six children who underwent LASIK between 2000 and 2005. The children ranged in age from 2 to 8.5 years at the time of the procedure that was performed by a single surgeon and under general anesthesia. Five children had high myopic anisometropia and were operated on in one eye and the sixth had bilateral high myopia and underwent bilateral LASIK. Preoperative myopia ranged from –5.00 DS to –16.00 DS and all children had failed previous amblyopia/anisometropia treatment.

After follow-up ranging from 6.5 to 12 years, best-corrected visual acuity was improved from the preoperative level in six of seven eyes by 1 to 7 lines and was unchanged in the seventh eye. In addition, all children had a reduction in myopia after treatment with improvement in the symmetrical refraction of the two eyes. While there was myopia regression over time in five of seven eyes, the mean change in the LASIK-treated eyes was less than that occurring in fellow non-treated eyes over the same time period, –2.4 D versus –3.7 D.

There were no complications and no evidence of post-LASIK ectasia based on multiple assessments, Dr. Hartnett said.

“To our knowledge, this is the first report of long-term follow-up after LASIK in very young children, and certainly because it is a small case series, it has limitations,” he said.

“In addition, these children are now just in their teenage years and their corneas are still undergoing change,” Dr. Hartnett said. “Development of ectasia is a risk and our biggest fear when treating young corneas with LASIK, and so our analyses are ongoing.”

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