What if you need cross-linking but you really need to be somewhere in an hour…

Researchers have found an accelerated cross-linking procedure that takes a few minutes is just as effective as the typically hour long procedure. Apparently no one has time for that.
Cross-linking was FDA approved in April 2016 and the commonly used procedure (called the Dresden protocol), starts with the removal of the epithelium and then riboflavin drops are applied for 30 minutes.  After this, the cornea is exposed to UVA light for 30 minutes. (more specific details here)
In a small study that included 30 eyes with progressive keratoconus, researchers used a transepithelial approach (epi-on), applied riboflavin drops for 10 minutes then irradiated the eyes with UVA light but at a higher intensity and for 3 minutes instead of 30 minutes.
At the 12 month follow up, there were no complications associated with this accelerated procedure and the outcomes were similar to other studies for cross-linking.  The authors state the results are promising but acknowledge the limitation of the study including a small sample size, a short follow-up time, and the lack of a control group.

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