PURPOSE: To compare the corneal stromal riboflavin concentration and distribution using 2 transepithelial corneal crosslinking (CXL) systems. SETTING: Absorption Systems, San Diego, California, USA. DESIGN: Experimental study. METHODS: The stromal riboflavin concentration of 2 transepithelial CXL systems was compared in rabbit eyes in vivo. The systems were the Paracel/Vibex Xtra, comprising riboflavin 0.25% solution containing TRIS and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and an isotonic solution of riboflavin 0.25%, (Group 1) and the CXLO system (Group 2). Manufacturers' Instructions For Use were followed. The intensity of riboflavin fluorescence by slitlamp observation 10, 15, and 20 minutes after instillation was graded on a scale of 0 to 5. The animals were humanely killed and the corneal stromal samples analyzed with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. RESULTS: The mean riboflavin fluorescence intensity grades in Group 1 (4 eyes) were 3.8, 4.8, and 4.8 at 10, 15, and 20 minutes, respectively. The mean grades in Group 2 (3 eyes) were 2.0, 2.3, and 2.0, respectively. The riboflavin distribution was uniform in Group 1 but not in Group 2. The mean riboflavin concentration by liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry was 27.0 μg/g stromal tissue in Group 1 and 6.7 μg/g in Group 2. A stromal riboflavin concentration theoretically adequate for CXL, 15 μg/g, was achieved in all eyes in Group 1 and no eyes in Group 2. Slitlamp grading correlated well with liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry concentration (R = 0.940). CONCLUSIONS: The system used in Group 1 produced corneal riboflavin concentrations that were theoretically adequate for effective transepithelial CXL (≥15 μg/g), while the system in Group 2 did not. Slitlamp grading successfully estimated the corneal riboflavin concentration and can be used to ensure an adequate concentration of riboflavin in the cornea for transepithelial CXL.