Three versus four radial keratotomy incisions

G R Melles, A T J I Go, W H Beekhuis, G van Rij, P S Binder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Radial keratotomy (RK) is currently performed with four or eight semi-radial incisions. To evaluate the effect of a theoretically more stable three-incision RK pattern, centripetal incisions were made in 16 human donor eyes (eight pairs), using a double-edged diamond blade set to 90% of central pachymetry and a 3.5 mm optical clear zone. Intraocular pressure was maintained at 15 mm Hg during surgery and while keratometry readings were made. One randomly selected eye of each pair had three radial incisions made at 12, 4 and 8 o'clock; the other eye had four radial incisions at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Corneal flattening was 6.08 diopters (D) with four incisions and 4.84 D with three incisions (P less than .05). Astigmatism increased 0.44 D and 0.69 D, respectively (P greater than .1). Histologically measured mean incision depth (77.4%) did not differ significantly between the groups (P greater than .1). This study shows that 80% of the effect of a four-incision RK pattern can be obtained with a theoretically more stable three-incision pattern.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1992


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Astigmatism/pathology
  • Cornea/anatomy & histology
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Keratotomy, Radial/methods
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation


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