Elliot M. Perlman. MD, a corneal surgeon in the Rhode Island Eye Institute, today announced that he is the first ophthalmologist to offer corneal cross-linking treatment in Rhode Island. This in-office treatment, which he is performing in the Providence office of the Rhode Island Eye Institute, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery, two progressive and sight-threatening eye conditions that affect more than 160,000 Americans. Corneal cross-linking—using Avedro’s Photrexa products and KXL System—is used to stiffen corneas that have been weakened by disease or refractive surgery. Without treatment, patients may go on to require corneal transplants.

“Corneal cross-linking is beneficial to my patients in that it offers them a therapeutic option to limit the progression of keratoconus and ectasia,” says Dr. Perlman. “The FDA approval of corneal cross-linking with Photrexa products and the KXL System offers new treatment options for appropriate patients who, until now, had few options to help with their vision challenges and no therapeutic treatment for these sight-threatening conditions,” said Dr. Perlman.

In keratoconus patients, the typically round, dome-shaped cornea progressively thins and weakens, causing the development of a cone-like bulge that produces optical irregularities that affect vision. A rare condition, keratoconus typically appears in individuals who are in their late teens or early twenties. Early symptoms include blurring or distortion of vision or increased sensitivity to light. Corneal ectasia, also marked by progressive corneal steepening and thinning, is a rare but serious complication resulting from vision correction procedures—such as laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and is associated with worsening vision.

Corneal cross-linking using Avedro’s Photrexa products and KXL System is a medical procedure that combines the use of ultra-violet (UV) light and riboflavin (vitamin B2) eye drops. The procedure works by creating new corneal collagen cross-links, which results in a shortening and thickening of collagen fibrils that leads to the stiffening of the cornea. Cross-linking, which has been performed in Europe since 2003, is considered the standard of care around the world for keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery.

“Early diagnosis is critical and allows patients to be treated at the onset of the disease.,” added Dr. Perlman. “Patients suffering from progressive keratoconus and corneal ectasia following refractive surgery can now receive a therapeutic treatment that has been rigorously tested and approved.”

About Dr. Perlman
Elliot M. Perlman, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon with advanced training in corneal surgery. He has been performing corneal transplant and refractive surgery (LASIK) in Rhode Island for over 25 years.