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Subspecialties Cornea / Ocular Surface, Basic & Translational Research, Imaging & Diagnostics, Health Economics and Policy

Keratoconus Screening

At a Glance

  • Surgeons planning refractive surgery should be certain that the patient does not have a predisposition to keratoconus
  • Genetic testing for corneal dystrophy is widespread, but keratoconus is a much more complex condition
  • The research into keratoconus genetic screening is promising, and data will become more precise as more information is included
  • The ultimate goal is to develop a test available for every potential keratoconus patient, which will become an inexpensive industry standard. 
     

Eyes may appear perfectly normal, yet be predisposed to serious conditions – some of which can be triggered by medical intervention. It follows that the ability to screen for such predispositions would be very useful, particularly where elective surgery is being proposed.  Keratoconus (KC) is a classic example – if you are offering a patient refractive surgery to achieve spectacle-free vision, you want to be certain that the eye is not prone to KC. Also, if you are looking for early indicators where family history exists, or in patients with corneas that high dioptric values or astigmatism, you want to be able to catch them as early as possible. But is KC screening a realistic option?

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About the Author

Tara Moore

Professor of Personalized Medicine at Ulster University, Northern Ireland, UK and Chief R&D Officer at Avellino Labs, San Francisco, USA.

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