University of Iowa Health Care

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

Stellate corneal epithelial iron line after radial keratotomy (RK)

Contributor: Jesse Vislisel, MD

Photographer: Stefani Karakas, CRA

This photograph shows the radially oriented corneal incisions from prior radial keratotomy (RK) with a characteristic central stellate corneal epithelial iron line. The Prospective Evaluation of Radial Keratotomy (PERK) study found that these iron lines occur in 78-85% of eyes after RK depending on the duration that has elapsed since their surgery. The iron lines are not visually significant.


Steinberg EB, Wilson LA, Waring GO 3rd, Lynn MJ, Coles WH. Stellate iron lines in the corneal epithelium after radial keratotomy. Am J Ophthalmol. 1984; 98(4):416-21.

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last updated: 05/04/2014
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