Background/Aims: To compare two different techniques for preparation of precut lamellar corneal tissue for Descemet Stripping Automated Keratoplasty (DSAEK).
Methods: Eight donor lenticules were created with a full pass of the microkeratome blade which resulted in a posterior lamella and a free cap, anterior lamella off group ( AL-off ). While the contralateral donor lenticules were created with an incomplete pass of the microkeratome blade which resulted in a posterior lamella and a hinged anterior cap, anterior lamella on group ( AL-on ). Endothelial cell density, cellular viability and corneal thickness were evaluated before dissection, 4 and 24 hours after dissection.
Results: Average pre-cut eendothelial cell density was 2552,25 ( ± 105 ) and 2572,25 ( ± 110 ) cells/mm2 in AL-off and AL-on group respectively ( p= 0,7 ). At 24h cell density was 2404,87 ( ± 74 ) in AL-off ( p< 0,01 ) and 2368,74 ( ± 148) in AL-on group ( p= 0,01 ). The mean percentage of trypan blue stained cells was consistently higher in the hinged AL-on group. Corneal thickness increased approximately 20% in both groups after 24h cold storage.
Conclusion: Eye-bank prepared tissue offers the potential advantage of being screened for mechanical stress damage occurring during the automated dissection.