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Efficacy of therapeutic soft contact lens in the management of gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy


Background/Aims To investigate the efficacy of therapeutic soft contact lenses (SCLs) in gelatinous drop-like corneal dystrophy (GDLD) management.

Methods This was a retrospective, consecutive, observational case series, including 20 patients (40 eyes) with GDLD treated in Osaka University Hospital within the last 15 years. We tested the effects of therapeutic SCL on clinical features, visual acuity and surgical interventions. Examinations for clinical features and visual acuity were done on patients who had no surgical intervention for 3 years. Scoring and evaluation of changes in three main clinical GDLD features and visual acuity (logMAR units) were performed using Fisher’s exact test and Mann-Whitney U test. Surgery-free survival time was compared by Kaplan-Meier analyses in all patients.

Results We found a significantly lower rate of progression in GDLD nodular lesions in patients wearing SCLs compared with those who did not (p=0.0179). No suppressant effects were observed regarding opacity and neovascularisation, and no significant improvements were found in visual acuity (in logMAR values, SCL-on: mean=− 0.036, median=0; SCL-off: mean=0.149, median=+ 0.088; p=0.14). The surgery-free survival time for all 16 SCL-on eyes was 2770 ± 1918 days, significantly longer than that for 22 SCL-off eyes, 1342 ± 1323 days (Kaplan-Meier analysis, p=0.0007), suggesting that therapeutic SCL extends the period until surgical intervention and reduces their necessity in patients with GDLD.

Conclusion Wearing therapeutic SCLs in GDLD slows the progression of nodular lesions and decreases the need for surgical interventions.

  • corneal dystrophy
  • soft contact lens
  • nodular lesions
  • visual acuity
  • surgical intervention

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