Corneal crosslinking is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration - approved therapy to stiffen the cornea and prevent progression of corneal ectasia in patients with keratoconus. The standard procedure involves removal of the corneal epithelium (epithelial-off) prior to treatment. Variations to the standard procedure include accelerated crosslinking and transepithelial procedures. This study reviewed what is known regarding the risk for infection after epithelial-off crosslinking, the spectrum of pathogens, and clinical outcomes. 26 publications were identified. All eyes were fit with a bandage contact lens postoperatively. Available data indicate that the overall frequency of infectious keratitis after epithelium-off crosslinking is low. Bacterial infections are the most common, with a mean time of presentation of 4.8 days postoperatively. The use of steroids and bandage contact lenses in the immediate postoperative period and/or a history of atopic or herpetic disease were associated with infection. These patients require intense postoperative care with prophylactic antiviral therapy when appropriate.
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