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Fine needle diathermy occlusion of corneal vessels
  1. Lana A Faraj1,
  2. Mohamed S Elalfy1,2,
  3. Dalia G Said1,2,
  4. Harminder S Dua1
  1. 1Academic Ophthalmology, School of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK
  2. 2Cornea Unit, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Cairo, Egypt
  1. Correspondence to Professor Harminder Singh Dua, Department of Ophthalmology, Nottingham University Hospitals, University of Nottingham, QMC, Derby Road, Nottingham, NG7 2UH, UK; harminder.dua{at}


Aims To evaluate the efficacy of fine needle diathermy (FND) occlusion of corneal vessels in relation to defined clinical indications.

Methods A retrospective, consecutive case series including all patients treated by FND for occlusion of corneal vessels between 2004 and 2012. Indications were lipid keratopathy, preparation for keratoplasty to reduce risk of rejection and treatment of recalcitrant corneal graft rejection associated with stromal vessels. Our outcome measures were occlusion of corneal vessels with reduced corneal vascularisation, reduction in amount of lipid deposition, and reduction of graft rejection episodes.

Results FND effectively reduced lipid deposition associated with the treated vessels in 14 out of 17 eyes (82.3%). When used to reduce corneal vascularisation before keratoplasty and to reduce intraoperative bleeding, the 1-year survival of the high-risk grafts was (84.6%). FND prevented further rejection episodes in 3 out of 4 corneal grafts. Fourteen eyes required retreatment (2–5 times) of which 9 had lipid keratopathy and 5 were in preparation for corneal grafting.

Conclusions FND is effective in occluding established corneal vessels. Corneal microperforation is a potentially serious adverse event, but other adverse events, such as striae, whitening and intracorneal haemorrhages are reversible. It should be considered for established corneal vessels, and can be combined with antivascular endothelial growth factors.

  • Cornea
  • Neovascularisation
  • Treatment Surgery

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