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Low-Dose Strontium-90 Irradiation Is Effective in Preventing the Recurrence of Pterygia: A Ten-Year Study
Published: Monday, August 27, 2012
Author: Xue-jiao Qin et al.

by Xue-jiao Qin, Hong-mei Chen, Liang Guo, Yong-yuan Guo


To study the long-term effects of low-dosage strontium-90 (Sr90) irradiation on the recurrence of pterygium.

Methodology/Principal Findings

One hundred twenty eyes from 104 patients with primary or recurrent pterygia were treated with surgery followed by Sr90 irradiation. In brief, starting on the sixth day after surgery, patients were treated with irradiation three times every other day at a total combined dosage of 2000 cGy to 3000 cGy. Corneal topography was used to evaluate ocular surface regularity before and after treatment. Patient follow-up was performed 2 days, 5 days, 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years after surgery. Recurrence of pterygium was not observed in any of the patients in this study. Obvious cataract progression was observed in 6 eyes, which may be due to aging. During follow-up studies, only one eye was reported with dryness and foreign-body sensation. Significant pterygium-induced astigmatism was observed in corneal topography, which decreased after surgery.


Sr90 irradiation is effective in preventing the recurrence of primary and recurrent pterygia. We recommend delivering a total combined dosage of 2000 cGy to 3000 cGy of Sr90 irradiation administered in three batches every other day starting from the sixth day after surgery. Surgery is important in the rapid recovery of the cornea from pterygium-induced astigmatism.