Aims: To describe the long-term risk of bullous keratopathy following argon laser iridotomy (ALI) in Japan and to compare it with other centres in the world.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the case records of all patients with ALI-induced bullous keratopathy that underwent penetrating keratoplasty at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine (KPUM) from Jan 2001 to Dec 2004. The results were compared with the other representative centres in Singapore and the United Kingdom.
Results: Thirty-nine eyes of 33 patients were included in the study. The mean age of patients was 73.3 ±6.9 years (range, 58 - 87 years). Patients developed bullous keratopathy at a mean duration of 6.9 ±4.9 years (range, 0.2 to 16 years) after the laser iridotomy procedure. The majority of eyes that developed bullous keratopathy (59.0 %) occurred following prophylactic ALI. KPUM had the highest percentage of ALI-induced bullous keratopathy cases that underwent penetrating keratoplasties, as compared to other centres in Singapore and the United Kingdom (20.0%, 1.8 % and 0 % respectively).
Conclusion: Bullous keratopathy may arise many years following ALI, and is a growing problem in Asian countries. This condition is a major cause of ocular morbidity in Japan, which has seen a worrying increase in the number of cases in recent years.
- Argon laser
- bullous keratopathy
- penetrating keratoplasty