To compare three techniques combined with excision in the treatment of primary and recurrent pterygium: amniotic membrane transplantation, conjunctival autograft, and conjunctival autograft plus mitomycin C.
Forty-nine eyes of 49 subjects (30 primary, 19 recurrent pterygium) were included in this study. Combined with excision, 25 eyes (18 primary, 7 recurrent pterygium) were treated with conjunctival autografts (Group 1), and 16 eyes (12 primary, 4 recurrent pterygium) were treated with amniotic membrane transplantation for the closure of the defect (Group 2). In 8 eyes (all recurrent pterygium) low-dose mitomycin C (0.02%) was applied topically to the defect area and a conjunctival autograft was applied thereafter (Group 3). The three groups were compared with regard to the recurrence of pterygium and the defect area requiring treatment.
The number and percentages of recurrence seen in groups 1, 2 and 3 were as follows: 4 (16%), 4 (25%), and 0(-), respectively. For the treatment of primary pterygium cases, amniotic membrane closure and conjunctival autograft closure were comparable in effectiveness (p > 0.05). In the treatment of recurrent pterygium, there was no significant difference between the three techniques (p > 0.05). Amniotic membrane closure and conjunctival autografts were equally effective for the treatment of both primary and recurrent pterygium (p > 0.05). The graft size was significantly larger in the cases with recurrent pterygium (p = 0.016).
Amniotic membrane closure and conjunctival autografts seem to be equally effective in the prevention of recurrence of primary pterygium. Conjunctival autografts combined with mitomycin C are as effective as the above two techniques to prevent recurrence in the treatment of recurrent pterygium. Due to the larger area of subconjunctival fibrosis, a larger defect area is created after the excision of pterygium tissue and a larger graft is needed to close this defect in recurrent pterygium. This factor can guide the surgeon during the planning of the surgery to choose the most appropriate technique for closure of the defect.