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Comparative study of primary pterygium surgery: impact of intraoperative ethanol adjuvant therapy on the recurrence rate, long-term results

Poster Details

First Author: M.Belovari Visnjic CROATIA

Co Author(s):    R. Ivekovic   O. Zrinscak   F. Barisic   I. Krolo   Z. Mandic  

Abstract Details


Aim of this study is to show our clinical experiences and evaluate effectiveness and safety of ethanol treatment during pterygium surgery in preventing the recurrence of pterygia, which is the main concern for ophthalmic surgeons after the removal of pterygium.


Department of Ophthalmology, Clinical Hospital Centre „Sisters of Charity" , Zagreb, Croatia


A comparative study included 146 patients with primary pterygia whose preoperative growth over cornea was between 2 and 4 mm. All pterygia were operated by excision and 90 degree conjunctival rotation autograft. In 82 patient cases (ECR group) 20%¬-ethanol was applied for 30 seconds to the pterygial and its adjacent corneal surfaces before pterygium excision. Sixty four patients (CR group) were operated using surgical procedure without ethanol adjuvant therapy. Outcome measures included rate of recurrence, time of recurrence, complications and patients' subjective satisfaction. The follow up period for all analyzed eyes was longer than 1 year.


Pterygium recurred in 6 of 82 (8,3%) eyes in ethanol¬ with conjunctival rotation autograft (ECR) group and in 9 of 64 (14%) eyes that underwent only surgical excision with conjunctival rotation autograft. Time of recurrence was longer in ECR group than in CR group.


Ethanol adjuvant therapy combined with surgical excision and conjunctival rotation autograft in pterygium surgery is effective in prevention of the pterygia recurrence. This surgical treatment is safe and not technically demanding with fewer complications compared to the previously known methods. Method with minimal complications and very low recurrence rate (less than 5%) has not yet been identified, ECR method has reached the closest results so far. FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE?: No

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