The aim of this study was to evaluate the visual outcomes and graft survival rate after therapeutic keratoplasty performed for interface infection after Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK).
This is a retrospective, interventional case series. The study population comprised 7 patients who developed unilateral post-DSAEK interface infection unresponsive to conservative treatment, with or without graft exchange, and were treated with penetrating keratoplasty (PK), 9 to 9.5 mm in diameter, with en bloc excision of the recipient cornea and DSAEK graft. The main outcome measures included best spectacle-corrected visual acuity, refractive error, histological examination, reinfection, and rejection and graft survival rates.
Interface infection was diagnosed in 10 (0.92%) of 1088 eyes that underwent DSAEK at our institution between 2005 and 2013. Seven of 10 eyes (0.64% of the total) were unresponsive to conservative treatment and underwent therapeutic keratoplasty. Candida and Staphylococcus species were identified in 3 cases each, and Nocardia species was identified in 1 case. With a mean post-PK follow-up of 25.4 months (range 4–60 months), no recurrence of infection was seen in any eye, and 5 of 7 PK grafts remained clear. Best spectacle-corrected visual acuity was 20/20 in 2 eyes, better than 20/50 in 4 eyes, and 20/100 or worse in 3 eyes, in 2 of which the graft had failed within 1 year of performing the PK.
Therapeutic keratoplasty is instrumental in eliminating interface infection after DSAEK, possibly leading to excellent visual outcomes with a relatively high graft survival rate.