PURPOSE: To evaluate the visual performance of two customized ablation systems (wavefront-guided ablation and topography-guided ablation) in LASIK. METHODS: In this prospective, randomized clinical study, 68 eyes of 35 patients undergoing LASIK were enrolled. Patients were randomly assigned to wavefront-guided ablation using the iDesign aberrometer and STAR S4 IR Excimer Laser system (Abbott Medical Optics, Inc., Santa Ana, CA) (wavefront-guided group; 32 eyes of 16 patients; age: 29.0 ± 7.3 years) or topography-guided ablation using the OPD-Scan aberrometer and EC-5000 CXII excimer laser system (NIDEK, Tokyo, Japan) (topography- guided group; 36 eyes of 19 patients; age: 36.1 ± 9.6 years). Preoperative manifest refraction was -4.92 ± 1.95 diopters (D) in the wavefront-guided group and -4.44 ± 1.98 D in the topography-guided group. Visual function and subjective symptoms were compared between groups before and 1 and 3 months after LASIK. RESULTS: Of seven subjective symptoms evaluated, four were significantly milder in the wavefront-guided group at 3 months. Contrast sensitivity with glare off at low spatial frequencies (6.3° and 4°) was significantly higher in the wavefront-guided group. Uncorrected and corrected distance visual acuity, manifest refraction, and higher order aberrations measured by OPD-Scan and iDesign were not significantly different between the two groups at 1 and 3 months after LASIK. CONCLUSIONS: Both customized ablation systems used in LASIK achieved excellent results in predictability and visual function. The wavefront-guided ablation system may have some advantages in the quality of vision. It may be important to select the appropriate system depending on eye conditions such as the pattern of total and corneal higher order aberrations.
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