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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 406850, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/406850
Review Article

Collagen Cross-Linking: Current Status and Future Directions

Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rostock, Doberaner Strasse 140, 18057 Rostock, Germany

Received 31 March 2011; Revised 2 November 2011; Accepted 20 November 2011

Academic Editor: Sunil Shah

Copyright © 2012 Marine Hovakimyan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Collagen cross-linking (CXL) using UVA light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) was introduced as a clinical application to stabilize the cornea by inducing cross-links within and between collagen fibers. CXL has been investigated extensively and has been shown clinically to arrest the progression of keratoconic or post-LASIK ectasia. With its minimal cost, simplicity, and proven positive clinical outcome, CXL can be regarded as a useful approach to reduce the number of penetrating keratoplasties performed. Small case series have also indicated that CXL is beneficial in corneal edema by reducing stromal swelling behavior and in keratitis by inhibiting pathogen growth. Despite these encouraging results, CXL remains a relatively new method that is potentially associated with complications. Aspects such as side effects and recurrence rates have still to be elucidated. In light of the growing interest in CXL, our paper summarizes present knowledge about this promising approach. We have intentionally endeavored to include the more relevant studies from the recent literature to provide an overview of the current status of CXL.