Relation of hormone and menopausal status to outcomes following excimer laser photorefractive keratectomy in women

Cathy A. McCarty, Irene Ng, Ben Waldron, Sinead K.M. Garrett, Julie A. Downie, Geoff F. Aldred, Rick J.B. Wolfe, Hugh R. Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: To examine the effect of hormone use, pregnancy and menopausal status on clinical outcomes following excimer laser surgery for myopia and myopic astigmatism. Methods: Participants comprised all female patients of the Melbourne Excimer Laser Group (MELG). A standardised surgical protocol was followed by the 27 MELG members, using the VisX 20/20 excimer laser and included the prospective collection of the following information preoperatively and one, three, six and 12 months after the procedure: uncorrected and best corrected visual acuity with a LogMAR chart; best manifest refraction; and subjective assessment of corneal clarity. A survey that elicited information about oral contraceptive (OC) use, pregnancy history, surgical and natural menopause, and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) was mailed to all the women. Results: A 77% response to the mailed survey was achieved. Two women were pregnant at the time of surgery, one became pregnant during the first month after surgery, and all three women were excluded from further analyses, although a review of two of the case histories revealed suboptimal clinical outcomes. Women taking OC were included in the control group after OC use was shown not to be associated with outcome. Women were grouped accordingly: control, n=225; pre-menopausal on HRT, n=7; post-menopausal not on HRT, n=34; and post-menopausal on HRT, n=21. The groups differed significantly with regard to age and preoperative spherical equivalent. After controlling for age and preoperative spherical equivalent, the mean number of uncorrected LogMAR letters read one year after surgery was significantly lower for the post-menopausal women on HRT in comparison with the control group. Best corrected acuity and corneal clarity were not significantly different among the groups. Discussion: These preliminary results suggest that the interaction of menopausal and HRT status could decrease the effectiveness of PRK and PARK, but require confirmation with a further study in a prospective manner using objective measures of corneal epithelial healing and serum hormone levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-222
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996


  • cornea
  • hormone
  • menopause
  • oestrogen replacement therapy
  • oral contraceptives
  • photorefractive keratectomy
  • pregnancy


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