With the development and gradual dissemination of corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) in the twenty-first century as an early treatment for keratoconus, the management paradigm has shifted to include a greater focus on complete refractive correction for these patients. Though supplemental hard contact lens therapy remains a mainstay of visual rehabilitation in keratoconus, there has been increasing appeal in a completely surgical approach by combining CXL with adjuvant refractive procedures to both halt the ectatic process and enhance functional visual outcomes. Collectively termed “CXL plus” procedures, several combined protocols have been studied to various degrees in conjunction with CXL, involving photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), transepithelial phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK), conductive keratoplasty (CK), intrastromal corneal ring segments (ICRS) implantation, phakic intraocular lens (PIOL) implantation, or multiple of these techniques together. The scope of this review aims to encompass a summary of current CXL protocols and present the current status of studies involving adjunctive keratorefractive procedures combined with CXL. By discussing the results to date of these CXL plus protocols, we can assess what further areas of investigation are necessary within this field as the next step to optimizing treatment modalities and outcomes for our keratoconus patients, regardless of disease severity.
- CXL plus
- Combined CXL protocol
- Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL)
- Photorefractive surgery
ASJC Scopus subject areas