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Successful visual rehabilitation after neonatal penetrating keratoplasty


BACKGROUND Penetrating keratoplasty in infancy and childhood has traditionally met with limited visual success due to a combination of unique physiology and technical problems in this patient population. With the advances in microsurgical instrumentation, corneal preservation, and visual developmental physiology ophthalmologists are finding increasing indications for penetrating keratoplasty in the childhood population. The long term results of neonatal penetrating keratoplasty in two patients with unilateral congenital corneal opacification are reported.

METHODS Penetrating keratoplasty was performed on one eye in each of two infants within the first 3 weeks of life. Amblyopia treatment and optical therapy have been continued since surgery.

RESULTS After 6 years both grafts have remained clear. One patient developed the infantile esotropia syndrome. Visual development using Snellen optotypes is age normal for both transplanted eyes.

CONCLUSIONS Penetrating keratoplasty when combined with optical correction and amblyopia therapy may restore and preserve vision in selected patients with congenital corneal opacification if performed in the neonatal period.

  • penetrating keratoplasty, neonatal
  • visual rehabilitation

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