Avellino Expands Gene Testing for LASIK Prep Test

By Ron Shinkman, Editor, Laboratory Industry Report

California-based Avellino Labs has expanded its molecular testing menu for patients who are considering lasik or other elective surgeries that will alter the structure of their eyes.

Elective laser eye surgery, commonly known as LASIK, occurs millions of times a year in the United States, with the ophthalmologist using a laser to resect portions of the cornea in order to improve vision without the use of corrective lenses. Most times the surgery is successful, but a small number of patients wind up with damaged vision or side effects such as seeing halos around sources of light.

The Avellino test focuses on a condition known as granular cornea dystrophy, which occurs in about 1 in 1,000 patients. This particular condition will cause the eye to release a particular protein in response to LASIK, leading to obstructive spots in the field of vision. The condition is linked to a specific gene. Some patients might be better candidates for laser procedures such as phototherapeutic keratectomy or PTK, which can remove tissue from the eye rather than alter vision.

Avellino’s assay, which previously focused on the GCD1 and GCD2 genes, has been expanded to five genes and conditions including LCD1, Reis-Bucklers, and Thiel-Behnke Corneal Dystrophies.

"Avellino Labs, as the prime mover in DNA testing for eye care, set the standard for the industry with its test for Granular Corneal Dystrophy and is raising the bar by adding the ability to test for Lattice and two other rare corneal dystrophy variants with the Universal Test," said Gene Lee, chairman and founder of Avellino Labs, in a statement.

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