Purpose To summarize key findings from a systematic review of the effectiveness and risks of conjunctival autograft (CAG) compared with amniotic membrane transplant (AMT) for pterygium. Design Cochrane systematic review. Methods We included only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in which CAG and AMT had been compared for primary or recurrent pterygia. The primary outcome was recurrence of pterygium ≥1 mm onto the cornea by 3 and 6 months post surgery. We adhered to Cochrane methods for trial selection, data extraction, risk of bias evaluation, and data synthesis. Results Twenty RCTs with 1866 participants (1947 eyes) were included. Pterygium recurrence 6 months after surgery ranged from 3.3% to 16.7% in the CAG group and 6.4% to 42.3% in the AMT group based on data from 1021 eyes in 10 RCTs. Estimated risk ratios from meta-analysis indicated that CAG-treated eyes had a 47% lower risk of recurrence 6 months after surgery compared with the AMT group (RR, 0.53, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33–0.85). For 96 eyes with recurrent pterygium, the risk of recurrence 6 months after CAG was reduced by 55% compared with AMT (risk ratio [RR], 0.45, 95% CI, 0.21–0.99). Three-month recurrence rates were similar for CAG and AMT based on data from 538 eyes (6 RCTs). Conclusions CAG was more effective than AMT to prevent pterygium recurrence by 6 months post surgery, especially in recurrent pterygia. CAG-treated eyes had half the recurrence rates of AMT-treated eyes. Future RCTs should assess changes in patient-reported outcomes (symptoms, cosmesis) and visual acuity, and evaluate effects of surgical variations.
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