Background: To compare the changes in anterior and posterior corneal elevations after combined transepithelial photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and accelerated corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) and after PRK. Methods: Medical records of 82 eyes of 44 patients undergoing either combined transepithelial PRK and CXL (PRK-CXL group) or transepithelial PRK (PRK group) were examined retrospectively. Changes in anterior and posterior corneal elevations were calculated by fitting an 8.0-mm diameter best-fit sphere and best-fit toric ellipsoid (BFTE) to the corneal shape with a fixed eccentricity of 0.4 using Scheimpflug tomography (Pentacam HR; Oculus Optikgeräte GmbH, Wetzlar, Germany) preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively. Results: In anterior corneal elevation, both groups demonstrated a similar trend of a forward displacement of peripheral anterior corneal surface and a backward displacement of central anterior corneal surface. In posterior corneal elevation, a forward displacement of peripheral posterior corneal surface was induced in both groups, along with a backward displacement of central posterior corneal surface, regardless of the calculation method. The magnitudes of displacement of peripheral and central posterior corneal surfaces were significantly smaller in the PRK-CXL group than in the PRK group. Moreover, the PRK-CXL group showed a backward displacement of posterior corneal surface at maximum corneal elevations when the BFTE was used as the reference surface. Conclusions: Transepithelial PRK combined with prophylactic CXL significantly reduced the magnitudes of displacement of peripheral and central posterior corneal surfaces, with the radius of the BFTE was set to 8.0-mm on the Scheimpflug tomography system.
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