What is Corneal Collagen Cross-linking?
Corneal corneal cross-linking (CXL) is a technique used to strengthen the bonds between the individual fibers comprising the cornea. CXL uses UV light and a photosensitizer, called riboflavin, to create these additional bonds to create an overall “stiffer” cornea.
For what patients is Corneal Collagen Cross-linking used?
There exist corneal conditions called ectasias whereby the cornea begins to bulge forward and become irregularly shaped. The most common type of corneal ectasia is keratoconus with an incidence on the order of 1 in 2000 individuals. Other forms of corneal ectasia include pellucid marginal degeneration, keratoglobus, and ectasia following keratorefractive surgery. Collagen cross-linking is used for these patients to strengthen the cornea to prevent progressive worsening of the condition.
What are the benefits of Corneal Collagen Cross-linking?
The benefit of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) is to arrest the progression of the corneal ectasia. By stopping the disease progression, CXL decreases the chances that a patient will need to undergo a corneal transplant. In addition, many CXL patients have an improvement in their uncorrected visual acuity or a reduction in their irregular astigmatism.
Why should I have Corneal Collagen Cross-linking performed at Maryland Vision Institute?
Though collagen cross-linking (CXL) has been a standard treatment for ectatic diseases in Europe for more than a decade, it is currently NOT FDA-approved in the United States. Thus, U.S. patients can only undergo this treatment if they participate in an ongoing clinical trial. Maryland Vision Institute is currently one of a limited number of centers that participates in a FDA cross-linking trial. We employ the same equipment and protocols that are used as standard treatments in Europe.
Therefore, if you want the very best in treatment for corneal ectasia (e.g. keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration), then contact our center to see if you qualify for this remarkable treatment.