Emory Report
January 22, 2008
Volume 60, Number 16

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January 22, 2008
Eye Center trial envisions change

By joy bell

Emory Eye Center is the first U.S. site to conduct an innovative clinical study on patients with keratoconus. The condition causes a bulging or steepening of the cornea that can lead to, in some cases, scarring of the cornea, or corneal ectasia, a similar condition that can occur after refractive surgery.

The new treatment, a minimally invasive, quick procedure, involves riboflavin eye drops that are applied to the patient’s cornea and activated by an ultraviolet light. In European studies, the treatment has been shown to increase the amount of collagen cross-linking in the cornea, thereby strengthening it. A stronger cornea will not tend to steepen in the way that a diseased cornea steepens.

The new trial, which will include about 300 patients, may “revolutionize the practice of cornea and ophthalmic external disease treatments,” says R. Doyle Stulting, a cornea specialist at Emory Eye Center and principal investigator, who will treat the very first patients in the United States with this new procedure at the Emory Eye Center.

The clinical trial is now enrolling patients; for more information call 404-778-6155.