Purpose: To evaluate the long-term efficacy of amniotic membrane transplantation as a treatment option in cases with partial limbal deficiency.
Methods: Sixteen eyes of 14 patients with partial limbal deficiency underwent amniotic membrane patch (AMP) or amniotic membrane graft with patch (AMGP) following keratectomy for conjunctivalization of the cornea. The average follow-up period was 52 months. We evaluated the mean corneal epithelialization time, visual acuity improvement, complications, and recurrence rate after the surgery.
Results: Eleven eyes underwent AMP, and the remaining 5 eyes received AMGP. All eyes eventually attained corneal reepithelialization. The mean time to reepithelialization was not significantly different between the AMP group (9 days) and the AMGP group (27 days). At the final follow-up visit, improved Landolt visual acuity was observed in 6 of the 11 eyes in the AMP group and in 2 of the 5 eyes in the AMGP group. No intraoperative complications were observed. However, 6 eyes in the AMP group and 3 eyes in the AMGP group had a recurrence or developed a persistent epithelial defect after mean durations of 21.2 and 17.7 months, respectively.
Conclusion: Both AMP and AMGP appear to be effective in attaining corneal reepithelialization, but neither could provide stable, clear corneal epithelialization in the long term.