Aims: To quantify changes of donor and host corneal tissue after Descemet’s stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) using organ-cultured corneas and to correlate these findings with the visual acuity during intermediate-term follow-up.
Methods: 15 eyes of 15 consecutive patients with Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy treated with DSAEK using organ-cultured corneas underwent ophthalmologic examination including the slit lamp-adapted OCT (SL-OCT) at 1, 3, 7 days, 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 6 months after the surgery.
Results: The mean BSCVA improved from 20/100 preoperatively to 20/40 six months postoperatively (P<0.0001). A continuous decrease of thickness of the grafted lenticule was observed during the follow-up (mean thickness immediately after surgery 191 ± 56 µm, compared with 100 ± 38 µm six months after surgery, P<0.001). The central corneal thickness decreased from 1057 ± 86 µm at the first postoperative day to 661 ± 74 µm after six months. Both central corneal thickness and the thickness of the posterior donor lamella correlate with the 6-months-BSCVA (Pearson correlation -0.745 and -0.589 respectively, P<0.05).
Conclusions: Organ-cultured corneas can be successfully used for DSAEK. The thickness of the grafted corneal lenticule correlates with the BSCVA six months after the surgery. It is decreasing continuously during the follow up.