Reader Poll: Corneal Crosslinking for Keratoconus

April 28, 2016

Keratoconus is a degenerative disease that causes progressive thinning and distortion of the cornea. The condition can result in myopia, astigmatism, and even blindness. Corneal collagen crosslinking aims to halt the progress of keratoconus by strengthening chemical bonds in the cornea. Successful crosslinking can avert the need for a corneal transplant.

Corneal collagen crosslinking has been available in Europe and throughout the world for more than a decade, and it is now available in the United States.

On April 18, 2016, the US Food and Drug Administration approved a riboflavin ophthalmic solution (Photrexa, Avedro) that treats progressive keratoconus with corneal collagen crosslinking. The approval extends to a version of the riboflavin ophthalmic solution that contains dextran (Photrexa Viscous) and an electronic device (KXL System) that irradiates the solutions with ultraviolet A light after they have been applied to the cornea.

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