Aim To compare the immunocytochemistry (ICC) on impression cytology of corneal surface epithelium after simple limbal epithelial transplantation (SLET) and conjunctival-limbal autograft (CLAU).
Methods A prospective study of 20 patients above 1 year of age with chronic chemical burns, who underwent limbal stem cell transplantation (LSCT). They were divided equally in group A (SLET) and group B (CLAU). ICC was done for cytokeratin 3 (CK3) and cytokeratin 19 (CK19), preoperatively and postoperatively at 6 months.
Results Four cases were excluded due to inadequate cellularity in preoperative or postoperative samples. On ICC analysis, in the remaining 16 patients mean CK3 and CK19 positivity changed from 2.06%±1.73% and 83.56%±8.69% preoperatively to 70.62%±13.2% (p<0.0001) and 5.93%±4.17% (p<0.0001), respectively, at 6 months post LSCT. In group A (8 patients) mean CK3 and CK19 positivity of 2%±1.8% and 84.5%±8.4% preoperatively changed to 70%±13.8% (p<0.0001) and 6.25%±5.1% (p<0.0001) at 6 months respectively. While in group B (8 patients), it was 2.12%±1.7% and 82.62%±9.4% preoperatively and 71.25%±013.5% (p<0.0001) and 5.62%±3.2% (p<0.0001) at 6 months. There was no significant difference in expression of CK3 (p=0.084) and CK19 (p=0.744) post SLET or CLAU.
Three patients with complete reversion had clear corneas at 6 months.
Conclusion Reversion of the epithelium to corneal phenotype was documented post LSCT with no difference in expression of CK3 between the two procedures (SLET/CLAU).
- ocular surface
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information. Not applicable.
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Contributors RA: concept, planning, analysis, surgeon, clinical assessment and manuscript writing. RS: immunohistochemical analysis. VJ: pateint recruitment, performing studies, analysis, clinical assesment. NDG: analysis, manuscript writing. PJ: manuscript writing.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.