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UPIKE-KYCO faculty co-authors book on corneal cross-linking

October 10, 2017 12:00 AM
Pikeville, KY
George Asimellis, Ph.D., authored two chapters in the newly published book, Corneal Cross-Linking, 2nd Edition by SLACK, Inc., F. Hafezi, J. B. Randleman, editors. Asimellis is an associate professor at the University of Pikeville-Kentucky College of Optometry.

The book represents Corneal Cross-Linking (CXL), an innovative approach to treating primary acquired and secondary induced corneal ectatic disorders. These are among the most severe pathological conditions in the cornea. The cornea, the exterior window of the eye, may become highly irregular in shape, drastically affecting vision. It may necessitate, if left untreated, a corneal transplant. The treatment strengthens and stiffens the cornea’s structure and can slow and halt the progression of keratoconus, saving the vision of the affected individual. Ultimately, CXL can prevent the necessity for corneal transplants in a majority of keratoconus patients. In addition, CXL has promising applications as an alternative in the treatment of corneal infectious and non-infectious melting, which are also severe corneal conditions. CXL involves applying liquid riboflavin, vitamin B2, to the cornea and exposing it to ultraviolet light.  

Each chapter was written by internationally acknowledged experts in the field. Asimellis is one of those select experts with several other peer-review publications and international presentations describing CXL applications. The new and expanded publication in this series provides a concise yet comprehensive summary of the CXL process, including the basic science foundations, treatment protocols and outcomes, recognition and management of potential complications, and modification of standard protocol for special circumstances. 

In April 2016, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave approval to CXL for the treatment of progressive keratoconus and secondary induced ectasia. 

To learn more about CXL, visit  

The Kentucky College of Optometry is the fourth college under the University of Pikeville banner and reflects the institution’s mission of service and strategic initiatives. The American Council for Optometric Education has granted the Kentucky College of Optometry the pre-accreditation classification of “Preliminary Approval.” The University of Pikeville is the 22nd school in the country to have a college of optometry. Construction was recently completed on a new educational facility to house the Kentucky College of Optometry. Sixty students will be admitted per class for a total of 240. The university expects to provide for the underserved in Central Appalachia and other rural areas of the country.  


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