PURPOSE: To report the occurrence and features of corneal iron line deposition after laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). METHODS: We evaluated 83 eyes undergoing LASIK. Corneal iron line deposition was analyzed with respect to preoperative spherical equivalent, attempted correction, and postoperative time interval. RESULTS: Thirty-five (42.2%) of 83 eyes displayed a distinctive brown-colored corneal iron line of variable density in a ring or patch configuration near the margin of the ablated zone in the overlying corneal flap epithelium. The appearance of this iron line correlated positively with time after surgery (>3 months) and preoperative spherical equivalent (>-4.5 diopters). CONCLUSIONS: Corneal iron line deposition in a ring or patch can be associated with previous LASIK surgery. This iron deposition within the margin of the ablated zone may offer insights into the dynamics of epithelial cell hyperplasia as well as basal cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration after LASIK.
ASJC Scopus subject areas