The changes in corneal curvature in the first six months after cataract extraction were studied by performing sequential keratometry on a group of 57 patients. 8/0 Virgin silk interrupted sutures were used for the closure of corneoscleral incisions, and 10/0 monofilament tied in double running (bootlace) or single running (continuous) fashion was used for corneal wound closure. A high degree of with-the-rule astigmatism was evident in all patients two weeks postoperatively, but thereafter the character of the astigmatism produced by 8/0 virgin silk and 10/0 monofilament closure was quite different: in the 8/0 virgin silk group there was an early and pronounced shift in the axis of astigmatism to against-the-rule, whereas in the 10/0 monofilament group there was little further change in the astigmatism unless the sutures were removed. Wound compression and wound gape as factors responsible for these changes are discussed.
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