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Authors of a keratoconus research paper have received the 2014 J Lloyd Hewett Award for the best paper published in Clinical and Experimental Optometry in the past three years.

The authors are Dr Jennifer Gaskin, Mr William Good, Dr Charlotte Jordan, Associate Professor Dipika Patel and Professor Charles McGhee of the University of Auckland.

They jointly received the award for excellence in their study of identifying predictors of acute corneal hydrops in keratoconus.

Their aim was to identify potential factors associated with acute corneal hydrops in a New Zealand population with keratoconus referred to a hospital eye service.

They found that Pacific ethnicity, history of eye-rubbing, poor visual acuity at first hospital presentation and lack of family history were statistically associated  with developing acute corneal hydrops in keratoconus.

‘Greater understanding of such predisposing risk factors may help develop early management strategies to delay or prevent progression of this disease,’ the authors said.

The paper was published in the journal’s special issue on Keratoconus in March 2013.

In a retrospective review, the team compared demographic and clinical features of subjects with keratoconus and corneal hydrops over a 17-year period with a control group, matched in age and gender and also with keratoconus but no history of corneal hydrops.

The editorial board of Clinical and Experimental Optometry established the award in 1980 as a tribute to Sydney optometrist J Lloyd Hewett, who was editor of the journal from 1962 to 1979, and a leading practitioner and clinical teacher.

Clin Exp Optom 2013; 96; 208-213

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