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Up Front | Jun 2003

ASCRS Annual Meeting Does Itself Proud!

TIf you were unable to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, you certainly missed a good one. Fortunately, Cataract & Refractive Surgery Today's editors and board members were there, and the current issue and future installments are intended to apprise you of the hot topics of the meeting, the latest clinical trial data, and information on the pipeline of products and technologies under development.

From my perspective, one of the highlights of this year's meeting was the following data on the clinical trial results of customized and optimized excimer laser vision correction. Re-garding the achievement of uncorrected 20/20 Snellen acuities or better, companies reported the following results with their platforms for customized, wavefront-directed ablations to treat both lower- and higher-order aberrations: VISX, Inc. (Santa Clara, CA), 93% of eyes; Bausch & Lomb Surgical, Inc. (San Dimas, CA), 91.7% of eyes (the company's conventional data of the same refractive range revealed 87.1% of eyes attained 20/20 UCVA or better); and Alcon Laboratories, Inc. (Fort Worth, TX), 90% of eyes.

Interestingly, two companies that simply optimized their laser treatments or retooled their ablation profile to induce fewer higher-order aberrations (especially spherical aberration) also reported their results. WaveLight Laser Technologie AG (Erlangen, Germany) stated that 92% of eyes treated with the Allegretto laser achieved a UCVA of 20/20 or better. Not to be outdone, Carl Zeiss Meditec Inc. (Dublin, CA) reported the clinical results of its optimized MEL 80 with which 92% of eyes achieved 20/20 or better uncorrected acuities.

All these data are sensational, so I checked my own results for treating roughly the same refractive error addressed in VISX's study, although I treated slightly more astigmatism on average with conventional LASIK. I used a 6.5-mm treatment zone with a blend zone to 8.0 mm, and I achieved 20/20 or better uncorrected vision in 89.7% of eyes. Not bad, but the most important point of the customized and optimized data is that my patients' postoperative, subjective evaluations were significantly better than their preoperative responses in every case. My patients overall reported that their visual function was better at night after laser vision correction than it had been preoperatively with either glasses or contact lenses. This is great news!

The June issue of CRSToday touches on some key subjects from this year's ASCRS meeting. Jay Erie, MD, presents interesting information on the chronological reinnervation of the human cornea after excimer PRK. Guy Kezirian, MD, re-examines pupil size as the determiner of mesopic vision. CRSToday is happy to present another prize-winning article from Shareef Mahdavi, who has repeatedly brought logic to the business of refractive surgery. Robert Kershner, MD, describes the results of his study on how the IOL implanted in a patient's eye affects retinal image contrast or functional visual performance. In addition, Richard Hoffman, MD, gives his pointers on managing retained crystalline lens fragments in eyes undergoing pseudophakic lens exchange. Finally, Louis Nichamin, MD, shares his experience using conductive keratoplasty as an enhancement procedure in eyes after cataract surgery.

As always, enjoy the issue and do share your feedback with CRSToday.
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