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Prevention and Treatment of Corneal Graft Rejection: Current Practice Patterns of the Cornea Society (2011)

Kharod-Dholakia, Bhairavi MD; Randleman, J. Bradley MD; Bromley, Jennifer G. MD; Stulting, R. Doyle MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000403
Clinical Science

Purpose: To analyze current practice patterns in the prevention and treatment of corneal graft rejection for both penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and endothelial keratoplasty (EK) and to compare these patterns with previously reported practices.

Methods: In 2011, an electronic survey was sent to 670 members of the Cornea Society worldwide addressing the routine postoperative management of corneal transplants at different time points, treatment of various manifestations of corneal graft rejection, and preferred surgical techniques.

Results: A total of 204 of 670 surveys (30%) were returned and evaluated. All respondents used topical corticosteroids for routine postoperative management and treatment of endothelial graft rejection. Prednisolone was the topical steroid of choice in all clinical scenarios, similar to previous surveys from 1989 to 2004. Use of subconjunctival and systemic steroids increased for many scenarios of probable and definite graft rejection. Routine use of prednisolone decreased by approximately 10% from previous surveys, whereas difluprednate was used in 13% of high-risk eyes during the first 6 months. Dexamethasone, fluorometholone, and loteprednol use remained stable. Adjunctive topical cyclosporine use increased significantly for PK and EK. EK was the preferred technique for endothelial dysfunction, whereas PK and deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty were both used for keratoconus and anterior scars. Most respondents (75%) felt that graft rejection occurs more frequently after PK than after EK.

Conclusions: Prednisolone remains the treatment of choice for management and treatment of graft rejection; however, since the introduction of difluprednate, its use has declined slightly since the introduction of difluprednate. Despite perceived differences in rejection rates, there were no differences in prophylactic steroid treatment for PK and EK.

*Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA; and

Stulting Research Center, Woolfson Eye Institute, Atlanta, GA.

Reprints: Bhairavi Kharod-Dholakia, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Emory University, 1365 Clifton Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30322 (e-mail: bhairavi.k.dholakia@emory.edu).

Supported in part by an Emory University Department of Ophthalmology unrestricted grant from Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

J. G. Bromley is now in private practice in Savannah, GA.

Received September 09, 2014

Received in revised form January 21, 2015

Accepted January 22, 2015

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