Aims: The aim of the study was to quantify changes in 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: Fifteen eyes of 15 consecutive patients, with Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy treated with DSAEK using organ-cultured corneas, underwent ophthalmological examination, including slit lamp-adapted optical coherence tomography, at 1, 3 and 7 days, and 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 6 months after the surgery.
Results: The mean best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) improved from 20/100 pre-operatively to 20/40 at 6-months post-operatively (p<0.0001). A continuous decrease of thickness of the grafted lenticule was observed during the follow-up (mean thickness immediately after surgery 191(SD 56) μm, compared with 100 (SD 38) μm 6 months after surgery, p<0.001). The central corneal thickness decreased from 1057 (SD 86) μm at the first post-operative day to 661 (SD 74) μm after 6 months. Both central corneal thickness and the thickness of the posterior donor lamella correlated with the 6-month BSCVA (Pearson correlations −0.745 and −0.589, respectively, p<0.05).
Conclusions: Organ-cultured corneas can be used successfully for DSAEK. The thickness of the grafted corneal lenticule correlated with the BSCVA 6 months after the surgery. It decreased continuously during the follow-up period.
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Competing interests: None declared (for all authors).
Ethics approval: Obtained.
Patient consent: Obtained.