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Journal of refractive surgery (Thorofare, N.J. : 1995)

Dilute brimonidine to improve patient comfort and subconjunctival hemorrhage after LASIK.


PMID 23820229

Abstract

To investigate whether dilute brimonidine (0.025%) reduces patient discomfort, subconjunctival hemorrhage, and injection after LASIK without a significant increase in the rate of flap complications or surgical enhancements. This randomized, double-blind, prospective study enrolled 180 patients (360 eyes) in a contralateral eye comparison of topical dilute brimonidine, naphazoline/pheniramine, or Systane Ultra (Alcon Laboratories, Inc., Fort Worth, TX) administered shortly before LASIK for any indication. Patients were evaluated for subconjunctival hemorrhage, injection, and flap dislocation 1 hour and 1 day postoperatively. Patient questionnaires measuring patient comfort and ocular symptoms were administered at these same follow-up visits. Patients were examined for 3 months to determine similar outcomes for standard indices of safety, predictability, efficacy, and enhancement rates. Scores of patient discomfort, subconjunctival hemorrhage, and injection were significantly lower in eyes treated with dilute brimonidine at the 1 hour and 1 day postoperative examinations. Refloats for mild-flap edge wrinkling were required in 3 brimonidine eyes (2.5%), 1 naphazoline/pheniramine eye (0.8%), and no control eyes, but this difference did not reach statistical significance (P = .18). There was no significant difference between eyes at 3 months in terms of visual acuity, refractive error, corrected distance visual acuity, or rate of enhancement. Use of dilute brimonidine before LASIK reduces subconjunctival hemorrhage and injection and improves patient comfort after surgery. Flap edge wrinkling requiring refloat may still be a complication with dilute brimonidine.