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A retrospective study on the incidence of post-cataract surgery Descemet’s membrane detachment and outcome of air descemetopexy
  1. Annamalai Odayappan1,
  2. Narayana Shivananda2,
  3. Seema Ramakrishnan2,
  4. Tiruvengada Krishnan2,
  5. Sivagami Nachiappan3,
  6. Smitha Krishnamurthy2
  1. 1 Department of General Ophthalmology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry, India
  2. 2 Department of Cornea, Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry, India
  3. 3 Department of General Ophthalmology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Annamalai Odayappan, Aravind Eye Hospital, Cuddalore main road, Thavalakuppam, Pondicherry 605007, India; oannamalai{at}


Purpose To study the anatomic and functional outcome of air descemetopexy in postcataract surgery Descemet’s membrane detachment (DMD).

Design Retrospective study.

Methods Setting: Institutional.

Study population: Records of 112 patients who underwent air descemetopexy for postcataract surgery sight-threatening DMD at Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry, between January 2013 and December 2015 were studied.

Main outcome measures: Anatomical outcome refers to reattachment of the Descemet’s membrane (DM). Functional outcome was given by the best-corrected visual acuity.

Results The mean age was 66.47±8.46 (SD) years, the male to female ratio was 45:67. The incidence of DMD was more in extracapsular cataract extraction (0.26%) and manual small incision cataract surgery (0.11%) than phacoemulsification (0.04%) (p=0.005 and p<0.0001). DMD was more common among surgical trainees (0.17%) than consultants (0.07%) (p≤0.0001). After primary air descemetopexy, 78 (71%) out of the 110 patients had DM reattachment. The complications noted after descemetopexy include persistent DMD (21.8%), corneal decompensation (7.3%), appositional angle closure (18%), pupillary block with air (2.7%) and uveitis (2.7%). Age, sex and timing of intervention did not influence the reattachment rate. Fifteen patients underwent repeat air descemetopexy for persistent DMD among whom nine (60%) had successful reattachment. Almost 75% of patients had vision better than 6/18 1 month after anatomically successful descemetopexy.

Conclusion Air descemetopexy is a safe and efficient modality of treatment of DMD and should be tried even in patients with severe DMD before planning a major surgery like endothelial keratoplasty.

  • Descemet’s membrane detachment
  • Air descemetopexy
  • Complications of cataract surgery

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  • Contributors Research design: AO, NS, SR, TK. Data acquisition and research execution: AO, NS, SR, TK, SK. Data analysis and/or interpretation: AO, NS, SR, TK, SN. Manuscript preparation: SR, AO, NS, SN, TK.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Ethics approval Aravind Eye Hospital, Pondicherry.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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