CROCS 2023 – CXL presentations and keratoconus screening

Featured Image CROCS 2023 with CROCS and ELZA logo

During the Croatian Organisation of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (CROCS) 2023 annual meeting held in Zadar, Croatia, on 12th and 13th October, Prof. Farhad Hafezi, the Medical Director of the ELZA Institute, gave a lecture “Corneal Cross-Linking in 2023”. He also moderated a session titled Trends in Corneal Treatments and Refractive Surgery, fostering discussions on current trends and advancements in the field, and performed a live demonstration of CXL for delegates at the meeting.


At the same meeting, Prof. Hafezi and Nikki Hafezi, ELZA’s CEO, conduced a keratoconus screening event for Croatian children with Down syndrome. The screening aimed to identify early signs of keratoconus, facilitating timely intervention to mitigate the progression of this sight-robbing eye disorder.

The protocol for the screening included the use of Pentacam for accurate ocular measurements, the engagement of volunteers to conduct these measurements, and coordination with the Down Syndrome Association. Additionally, arrangements were made with local clinics for the management of detected keratoconus cases.

Nikki Hafezi emphasized the importance of early eye screening and specialized diagnostic procedures during the event. Among the diagnostic procedures discussed was the application of PINCO (Process to Increase Compliance – see below), and its utility in keratoconus detection. PINCO provides a detailed analysis of corneal structures, aiding in the early identification of keratoconus.

The initiative underscores the necessity of early diagnosis and specialized diagnostic tools like PINCO in managing ocular conditions, especially in populations such as children with Down syndrome, who are at a higher risk for keratoconus.

This activity by ELZA, both at CROCS 2023 and the keratoconus screening initiative, reflects a concerted effort to address ocular health challenges through knowledge sharing, community involvement, and the employment of advanced diagnostic technologies.

What is PINCO?

PINCO in action- child undergoing autorefraction

The PINCO system is structured to provide personalized eye care for children through the following key steps:

  • Caregivers complete a pre-consultation questionnaire.
    • From these responses, the following are determined:
      • Factors potentially triggering unwanted behavior.
      • Methods for positive reinforcement of desired behavior.
  • Utilizing this information allows for:
    • Customization of the clinical environment according to the child’s specific needs.
    • Selection of the most effective communication medium, be it oral, written, or visual (e.g., PECS – the picture exchange communications system).
  • Outcome:
    • The child is kept well-informed throughout the process, reducing the likelihood of unexpected events or discomfort.