Fifteen-year results of a randomized controlled trial comparing 0.02% mitomycin C, limbal conjunctival autograft, and combined mitomycin C with limbal conjunctival autograft in recurrent pterygium surgery

  • Ka Wai Kam
  • Alvin L. YoungEmail author



To compare the long-term outcomes of recurrent pterygium surgery between three different techniques.


We performed a 15-year follow-up study of a randomized controlled study on surgical management of recurrent pterygium. Group 1 received limbal conjunctival autograft (LCAU); group 2 received intraoperative mitomycin C (MMC) 0.02% for 5 min; and group 3 received combined LCAU + MMC 0.02% for 5 min. Consecutive patients enrolled in the original study (from April 2001 to March 2003) were invited back for a detailed clinical examination to document the long-term outcomes. The main outcome measures included the recurrence rate, residual conjunctival bed status, and complications from any of the surgical methods.


Sixty-two patients were recruited in the original study. Eight patients had passed away and 12 patients were uncontactable or not responded. One patient who had bilateral operations refused to return for follow-up and one eye had insufficient data for analysis. Finally, 40 eyes of 40 patients were included for analyses. One eye developed a recurrence over 15 years and none required a tertiary pterygium operation. The patient received LCAU for a temporal recurrent pterygium developed a 2.2-mm recurrence.


All three techniques yielded favorable outcomes for patients with recurrent pterygium. The use of LCAU was associated with better cosmetic outcome.


Cornea Limbal conjunctival autograft Mitomycin C Randomized controlled trial Recurrent pterygium 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Joint Chinese University of Hong Kong–New Territories East Cluster Clinical Research Ethics and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology & Visual SciencesPrince of Wales HospitalShatinHong Kong
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology & Visual SciencesThe Chinese University of Hong KongShatinHong Kong

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