CXL Crosslinking Buzzword of the Ophthalmology community

CXL – Corneal Collagen Crosslinking

This is a procedure which aims to treat often genetically acquired Keratoconus. Keratoconus creates a misshapen cornea, this condition needs to be treated or it will create further vision impediments and will create an inability for the individual to see. If left untreated, the condition will only worsen. CXL (crosslink) treats the affected eye/eyes by strengthening and lifting the cornea.

This procedure is minimally invasive and has two variations. Epi- on, or Epi-off. (This refers to the epithelium layer of the eye.)These varieties differ in the way in which they work to treat the epithelium layer. For example:

Epithelium-off CXL. This procedure removes the epithelium’s outer layer. After this, liquid riboflavin is applied and works to penetrate the tissue of the cornea. (This is the FDA approved version of the procedure. )

Epithelium-on CXL. In this procedure, the corneal epithelium is left intact, and therefore there is a longer application of riboflavin.



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