Corneal Collagen Crosslinking
Corneal Collagen Crosslinking (CXL) is a technique that uses ultraviolet (UV) light and a photosensitizer called riboflavin (liquid vitamin B2) to strengthen the cornea and attempt to reduce the progression of Keratoconus (KCN) or post-LASIK ectasia.
A healthy cornea retains its shape, while patients with keratoconus or ectasia have a irreversibly thin cornea that bulges outward, leading to impaired vision. Keratoconus is thought to be progressive, meaning there is a high chance it will continue to worsen with time. Crosslinking of collagen refers to the ability of collagen fibers forming strong bonds with other fibers. In the cornea, collagen cross-linking occurs naturally with aging, which may be one reason why KCN progression is thought to slow with age.