The U.S. army surface ablation study: Comparison of PRK, MMC-PRK, and LASEK in moderate to high myopia

Rose K. Sia, Denise S. Ryan, Jayson D. Edwards, Richard D. Stutzman, Kraig S. Bower

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: To compare visual outcomes following photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), PRK with mitomycin C (MMC-PRK), and LASEK in moderate and high myopia in military personnel. METHODS: This prospective, randomized contralateral eye study included 167 patients 21 years or older with manifest spherical equivalent -5.99 ± 1.40 diopters (D) (range: -3.88 to -9.38 D) randomized to either MMC-PRK or LASEK treatment in their dominant eye and conventional PRK without MMC in the fellow eye. All procedures were performed using the LADARVision 4000 Excimer Laser System (Alcon Surgical Inc., Ft. Worth, TX). High- and low-contrast visual acuities, manifest refraction, endothelial cell count, and corneal haze were evaluated up to 12 months postoperatively. RESULTS: At 12 months postoperatively, visual outcomes were comparable among the treatment groups. Corneal haze of any grade was less common in MMCPRK compared to PRK at 1 month (21.4% vs 31.0%; P < .01) and 3 months (12.8% vs 35.9%; P = .03) postoperatively; it was also less common in MMC-PRK compared to LASEK at 1 month (21.4% vs 55.9%; P < .01), 3 months (12.8% vs 42.4%; P < .01), and 6 months (12.2% vs 36.4%; P = .03) postoperatively. Haze rate (grade 0.5 or higher) was comparable between LASEK and PRK. Clinically significant haze (grade 2 or higher) developed after PRK (4 eyes) and LASEK (2 eyes), but not after MMC-PRK. CONCLUSIONS: MMC-PRK showed some benefits in minimizing corneal haze formation. One year after surgery, there was no discernible difference in the postoperative refractive outcomes among the three methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Refractive Surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Ophthalmology


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