Br J Ophthalmol 87:432-435 doi:10.1136/bjo.87.4.432
  • Original Article
    • Clinical science

Effects of lamellar keratotomy on postkeratoplasty astigmatism

  1. G A Lee,
  2. J J Pérez-Santonja,
  3. A Maloof,
  4. L A Ficker,
  5. J K G Dart
  1. Cornea and External Disease Service, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Graham Lee, 19 Breadsell Street, Carindale, Queensland 4152, Australia; mdglee{at}
  • Accepted 8 September 2002


Aim: To determine the changes in postkeratoplasty astigmatism induced by lamellar keratotomy.

Methods: A prospective, non-randomised comparative trial of patients undergoing a hinged lamellar corneal flap for treatment of significant astigmatism after penetrating keratoplasty. Uncorrected visual acuity, best corrected visual acuity, refraction, and corneal topography were assessed at 1 and 3 months after the lamellar keratotomy.

Results: 17 eyes in 16 patients (13 M, 3F) were included in the study (mean age 48.2 years; range 20–86 years). Six of 17 eyes (35.3%) changed more than 1 dioptre (D) in spherical equivalent by 3 months. Nine of 17 eyes (52.9%) changed more than 1 D in sphere by 3 months. 12 of 17 eyes (70.6%) changed more than 1 D in refractive cylinder. Seven patients of 15 (46.7%) changed more than 1 D in corneal power as measured topographically. Five of 17 eyes (29.4%) changed in refractive cylinder axis more than 15 degrees and this was similar to the change measured topographically of four of 15 eyes (26.7%). Vector analysis showed 60% of eyes had a surgically induced astigmatism (SIA) vector of more than 1 D, including a net corneal astigmatism decrease of more than 1 D in four eyes and increase of more than 1 D in two eyes at 3 months after surgery. Complications of the lamellar keratotomy included two partial buttonholes and one partial wound dehiscence.

Conclusions: The creation of a lamellar flap alone can have significant effects on the astigmatism following penetrating keratoplasty. LASIK for correction of postkeratoplasty astigmatism may be more accurately performed as a two stage procedure rather than a single stage, after the corneal effects of the lamellar keratotomy have stabilised.