Long-Term Visual, Refractive and Topographic Outcomes of KeraRings Combined with Accelerated Transepithelial Crosslinking for Management of Different Grades of Progressive Keratoconus: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Mohammed Iqbal1
, Amr Mounir1, *
, Khaled Abd-Elaziz2, Omar M. Said3

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, Egypt
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Beni Suef University, Beni Suef, Egypt
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Fayoum University, Fayoum, Egypt

© 2021 Iqbal et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Sohag University, Sohag, 82425, Egypt; Tel: +2 01005026170; E-mail:



To evaluate long-term visual, refractive, and topographic outcomes of KeraRings intrastromal implantation combined with accelerated transepithelial cross-linking for management of different stages of progressive keratoconus.

Materials and Methods:

This retrospective cohort study included 70 eyes of 70 patients with Amsler-Krumeich grades 1 to 4 keratoconus. They were divided into two groups: group-A included 37 eyes with grades 1-2 keratoconus, and group-B included 33 eyes with grades 3-4 keratoconus. Both groups underwent combined Keraring implantation with TCXL treatment. The main outcome measures included the preoperative and postoperative visual acuity, refraction, keratometry readings, and pachymetry.


At postoperative month 60, group-B exhibited significantly higher values of all mean uncorrected distance visual acuity (UDVA), corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), sphere/cylinder/spherical equivalent/defocus equivalent (DEQ), and K1/K2/Kaverages/Kmax parameters compared to that of group A. However, group-A exhibited better stability of postoperative improvements. Keratoconus progression (KCP) was greater in group-B (45.5%) than group-A (10.8%). Two eyes revealed segments' migration while one eye showed tunnel vascularization and opacification with segments' migration.


The diagnostic criteria of preoperative-KCP are not adequate for the diagnosis of postoperative-KCP following ICRS implantation. UDVA and K average posterior seemed to be more sensitive parameters than K max in documenting early postoperative-KCP. We suggest that deterioration of UDVA≥0.10 log MAR and/or K average posterior ≥0.25 D are highly suspicious of post-ring implantation keratoconus progression (PR-KCP). The occurrence of two of the following parameters: Kmax≥0.50 D, Kaverageanterior≥0.50 D, K average posterior ≥0.25 D, or pachymetry≥1.5% thinning, is diagnostic of PR-KCP. The occurrence of two or more of the following parameters: Kmax≥0.50 D, Kaverageanterior≥0.50 D, Kaverageposterior ≥0.25 D, pachymetry≥ 1.5% thinning or UDVA≥0.10 logMAR, is diagnostic of PR-KCP. We also suggest that Kmax≥0.75 D alone is diagnostic of PR-KCP.

Key Words: Keratoconus, Intracorneal rings, Kerarings, Corneal cross-linking, Progression, Stability, Topographic outcomes.