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Paired-eye comparison of Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty and penetrating keratoplasty in children with congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy


Purpose To report the surgical outcomes of Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) in cases of congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) cohort and compare it with penetrating keratoplasty (PK) in a paired-eye setting.

Methods Ours is a retrospective, comparative, consecutive and interventional clinical case series. All patients less than 14 years of age who underwent PK in one eye and DSEK in the contralateral eye at a single centre from January 2006 and February 2011 were analysed. Main outcome measures were graft clarity, visual outcome and complications.

Results The mean age of the patients was 6.6±2.19 years at the time of presentation. The outcomes of two surgeries were compared with 1 year of follow-up at the corresponding follow time. At 1 year, all grafts were clear. There was no significant difference in the spherical component of the refraction; the astigmatism was significantly lower after EK. The refraction stabilised in patients with EK as early as 3 months, while it continued to change up to 1 year after PK. Complications included graft dislocation in two cases of DSEK, which were managed by rebubbling, and a graft dehiscence in one case of PK, which was managed by resuturing. The final visual acuity improved in all the patients.

Conclusions Endothelial keratoplasty is a viable option to conventional PK in cases of CHED. It offers an advantage of early visual stabilisation compared with PK.

  • Cornea

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