Purpose To describe the indications and prognosis for keratoplasty in eyes with severe visual impairment and blindness due to corneal diseases in India.
Methods This hospital-based cross-sectional study included 1 057 215 new patients presenting to a multitier ophthalmology network from 2016 to 2018. All patients with a central corneal pathology and best corrected visual acuity of less than 20/200 in the affected eye(s) were identified as cases and grouped according to laterality. The main outcome measure was the prognosis for keratoplasty, based on the surgical indication.
Results A total of 28 824 (2.73%) patients were identified with severe visual impairment or blindness due to corneal diseases; of which, 22 582 (78.3%) had unilateral and 6242 (21.7%) had bilateral affliction. Overall, 85% of the corneal pathologies were due to avoidable causes, which accounted for 97% and 63% of the unilateral and bilateral cases, respectively (p<0.0001). The most common aetiologies were microbial keratitis (27.2%) and corneal opacification (25.5%) in unilateral cases; and corneal opacification (38.2%) and ectasias (14.5%) in bilateral cases. Overall, 60.1% of affected eyes carried a fair to poor prognosis for keratoplasty. However, while in unilateral cases only 29.9% of eyes carried good to excellent prognosis for keratoplasty, in bilateral cases, 58% of eyes carried good to excellent prognosis for keratoplasty (p<0.0001).
Conclusions The indications and prognosis for keratoplasty varied greatly based on whether the affliction was unilateral or bilateral. Most of the eyes affected by corneal visual impairment or blindness, however, carried an unfavourable prognosis for keratoplasty.
- ocular surface
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Funding This study was funded by Hyderabad Eye Research Foundation, Telangana, India.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval The study adhered to the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Institutional Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.