Purpose: Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) has its own set of complications including interface abnormalities. This case series presents the largest number of patients who developed textural interface opacity (TIO) at the graft–host interface after DSAEK.
Methods: This is a retrospective multicenter case series of 30 patients from 7 institutions with the finding of TIO. Clinical information collected included donor preparation details, recipient information, and surgical technique. Clinical outcomes included best-corrected visual acuity and status of TIO appearance at the last follow-up visit. Slit-lamp photographs were analyzed and compared.
Results: The majority of the patients (73%) had a best-corrected visual acuity of 20/40 or better. Four of the donor tissues were prepared with a microkeratome blade with the same lot number. Six patients had a central interface space between host and donor stromal surfaces—presumed interface fluid but potentially viscoelastic. A slight majority (57%) of patients had improvement in the severity of TIO, with 20% noted to have a complete resolution of TIO (mean follow-up of 11.9 months). Two clinical types of TIO were seen: an elongated type and a punctate type.
Conclusions: Most patients with TIO after DSAEK obtain good visual outcomes. TIO spontaneously improves or even resolves during follow-up without intervention. The etiology of this condition is unknown, but we propose 2 different mechanisms. The elongated type could be secondary to an irregular cut of the donor with the microkeratome blade. The punctate type may be secondary to retained viscoelastic.