Aim: To determine whether amniotic membrane can be used as an alternative to conjunctival autograft after pterygium excision.
Methods: 287 eyes with either primary or recurrent pterygium were included in this study. All eyes were randomised to undergo conjunctival autograft or amniotic membrane transplantation after pterygium excision by a single surgeon. 106 eyes in primary pterygium and 14 eyes in the recurrent group were treated with conjunctival autograft, and 148 eyes in primary pterygium and 19 eyes in the recurrent group were treated with amniotic membrane transplantation. Patients were followed up at 6 weeks and 6 months after operation. The main outcome measurement was recurrence rate after surgery.
Results: In the conjunctival group, the recurrence rate was 12.3%, 21.4% and 13.1% for primary, recurrent and all pterygia, respectively. In the amniotic membrane group, the recurrence rate was 25.0%, 52.6% and 28.1% for primary, recurrent and all pterygia, respectively. The recurrence rate for all pterygia in the amniotic membrane group was significantly higher than that in the conjunctival group (p = 0.003).
Conclusions: Amniotic membrane graft had a higher recurrence rate than conjunctival autograft. However, it is an alternative choice, especially for advanced cases with bilateral heads or patients who might need glaucoma surgery later.
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