This article provides a review of the literature on various aspects of therapeutic keratoplasty, including indications, techniques, complications and outcome, and its application in cases of infectious keratitis.
Various articles on therapeutic keratoplasty (including English- and non-English-language publications) were analyzed. Selection of the articles was based on a Medline search for articles using the key words therapeutic keratoplasty, penetrating keratoplasty, therapeutic keratoplasty for infectious keratitis, non-healing corneal ulcer, microbial keratitis, and perforated corneal ulcer. Abstracts in English were used for non-English articles.
Therapeutic keratoplasty has a definitive role in the management of progressive bacterial, fungal, Acanthamoeba, and viral keratitis refractory to medical treatment. Management of bacterial keratitis has higher functional success and anatomic cure rate compared with fungal, viral and Acanthamoeba keratitis. Therapeutic keratoplasty offers a cure rate of up to 100% in bacterial and fungal keratitis, whereas the recurrence of infection after Acanthamoeba keratitis is frequent. Visual outcome depends on various factors such as the causative agent, timing of surgery, degree of inflammation, type of donor material used, and size of the graft used. For example, larger grafts have a higher incidence of graft rejection and failure compared to smaller grafts. The primary aim of the procedure is to reestablish the integrity of the globe and to eliminate the infectious disease process. Visual rehabilitation is a secondary outcome.
This review helps to elucidate the various aspects of therapeutic keratoplasty, including indications, preoperative assessment, surgical techniques, postoperative management, complications, and anatomic and functional outcome.