Both LASIK and PRK eye procedures are safe and effective, according to results of a 10-year study presented at the Academy of Ophthalmology’s (AAO; San Francisco) 2006 Joint Meeting with the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (Singapore) in Las Vegas. Researchers examined patients a decade after undergoing LASIK and PRK treatments and said both procedures provide “stable, long term improvement for nearsightedness.”

The study results were presented by lead investigator, Jorge Alio, MD, PhD, chair of ophthalmology at the Universidad Miguel Hernandez (Alicante, Spain). The study, including 100 eyes with myopia or myopic astigmatism corrected by LASIK and 100 eyes corrected by PRK, measured how well the patients maintained the ability to focus, as well as any changes in visual distortion after 10 years.

Alio said that according to standard industry safety evaluations, both procedures recorded excellent long-term statistics that showed that patients maintained, on average, 20/25 vision 10 years after surgery. Like LASIK, PRK uses a laser to reshape the cornea. However, PRK works directly on the outer surface of the cornea.

Alio said the data showed that PRK was somewhat more effective than LASIK for those with low levels of myopia, while LASIK performed slightly better for those with more severe nearsightedness, differences attributed to the state of PRK technology 10 years ago. He said recent improvements in PRK have made the two surgeries more comparable.

SEC launches full-text search on Edgar

Christopher Cox chairman, of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, reported that investors are now able to search the contents of the disclosure documents filed electronically with the SEC using a full-text search tool on the commission’s web site. Searchable information includes registration statements, annual and quarterly reports, and other filings by companies and mutual funds filed during the past four years on the SEC’s EDGAR database.

“When investors and analysts are looking for information about a company or fund, they’ll no longer be required to laboriously wade through each individual filing separately to get what they want. Instead, they can now access millions of pages in dozens or even hundreds of company filings all at once,” Cox said. “The availability of this powerful new search capability is a milestone in our interactive data initiative.”

Each year 15 million-18 million pages of filings are submitted to the SEC by more than 15,000 public companies and other filers via the EDGAR system.

Sagemark expands operations at NY facility

The Sagemark Companies (Rockville, New York) said it has expanded operations at its Rockville Centre, New York, PET imaging facility with the addition of a new 16-slice PET/CT imaging system, a Biograph system from Siemens (Malvern, Pennsylvania).

The system combines positron emission tomography (PET) and computed tomography (CT) technology to create a new diagnostic imaging system, the company said. As the patient undergoes a scan in this imaging system, the anatomically detailed information obtained from a CT scan is merged with the biological function recorded by the PET scanner to form not merely a photograph, but a “biograph” — an image that records living tissues and life processes, Sagemark said.

The new PET/CT is the eighth diagnostic system to be installed at the company’s seven PET imaging centers, Sagemark said.

Michael Fagien, MD, chief medical officer of Sagemark, said, “Expanding our medical diagnostic imaging capabilities at our Rockville Centre imaging facility with the addition of this state-of-the-art PET/CT system will enhance our ability to continue to offer high-quality services and deliver cost-effective medical imaging.”

Sagemark owns outpatient medical diagnostic imaging centers that use PET and CT imaging equipment.