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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 367-378

Recurrent pterygium: A review


1 Eye Research Center, The Five Senses Institute, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
2 Eye Research Center, The Five Senses Institute, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences; Eye Research Center, Farabi Eye Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Department of Radiation Oncology, Indiana University, Indiana, USA
4 Eye Research Center, The Five Senses Institute, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran; Alavi Eye Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Navid Abolfathzadeh
Eye Research Center, The Five Senses Institute, Rassoul Akram Hospital, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran
Iran
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/joco.joco_153_20

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Purpose: To summarize the recent evidence regarding different aspects of pterygium recurrence. Methods: Human-based studies from PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar were identified using the following keywords: conjunctival disease, pterygium, recurrent pterygium, pterygium recurrence, pterygium management/surgery, conjunctival autograft (CAU), amniotic membrane graft/transplant, and adjuvant therapy (January 2009 to February 2021). We reviewed risk factors associated with the recurrence of pterygium, timing of recurrence, medical treatments to prevent from recurrence, and nonsurgical and surgical alternatives for management of recurrence. Results: Dry eye disease, black race, and young age are considered definite risk factors for recurrence. However, fleshy appearance of the pterygium and preoperative size remain controversial. Surgical techniques such as excessive suturing, insufficient conjunctival graft size, thick conjunctival graft with remained Tenon tissue, and postoperative graft retraction are considered possible risk factors for recurrence. Using fibrin glue instead of sutures can further reduce recurrence rates. Although recurrence could occur even after many years, most recurrences happen in the first 3–6 months after surgery. Multiple kinds of adjuvant medications are used before, during, or after the operation including mitomycin C (MMC), 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), corticosteroids, and anti-vascular endothelial growth factors (anti-VEGFs). Multiple weekly subconjunctival 5-FU injections are shown to be safe and effective in halting the progression of recurrent pterygium. Although topical bevacizumab is found to inhibit the growth of impending recurrent pterygium, the effect is mostly temporary. CAU is superior to amniotic membrane transplantation in the treatment for recurrent pterygia. Conclusions: There is yet to be a panacea in treating recurrent pterygium. Currently, there is not a globally accepted recommendation for treating recurrent pterygium with anti-VEGFs or 5-FU as a nonsurgical treatment. We strongly recommend using MMC as an adjunct to surgery in recurrent cases, with consideration of its specific complications. CAU is the most effective surgical treatment for recurrent pterygium, and other new surgical therapies need further investigation.


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