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Use of Scleral Lenses and Miniscleral Lenses After Penetrating Keratoplasty

Barnett, Melissa O.D., F.A.A.O.; Lien, Vivian M.D.; Li, Jennifer Y. M.D.; Durbin-Johnson, Blythe Ph.D.; Mannis, Mark J. M.D.

Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice: May 2016 - Volume 42 - Issue 3 - p 185–189
doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000163

Purpose: To examine the clinical outcomes of scleral lenses for visual rehabilitation after penetrating keratoplasty (PK).

Methods: A retrospective review was conducted for 34 patients (48 eyes) who had a history of prior PK and were fit with scleral lenses between October 2009 and December 2013 at the UC Davis Eye Center.

Results: The most common initial indication for PK was keratoconus in 27 eyes (56%). Thirty-three eyes (69%) had previously been fit with other types of contact lenses, with small-diameter rigid gas-permeable lenses being the most common. The improvement in best-corrected visual acuity with a scleral lens compared with prior spectacle refraction or other contact lens was a mean of two best-corrected visual acuity lines. Forty-four eyes (91.7%) achieved functional vision with best scleral lens-corrected visual acuities of 20/40 or better. Patients who continued wearing scleral lenses were significantly more likely to report “good” subjective vision compared with patients who abandoned scleral lens wear (P=0.009), although change in objective best-corrected visual acuity did not differ significantly. There were no cases of infectious keratitis. Six eyes (12.5%) developed graft rejection; 3 were able to resume scleral lens wear. Nineteen eyes (39.5%) discontinued scleral lens wear for various reasons, the most common reason for discontinuation of lens wear was difficulty with scleral lens insertion or removal (8 eyes, 42.1%).

Conclusion: Scleral lenses are effective and safe in patients who have had PK. There was a mean gain in visual acuity, with the majority of patients achieving 20/40 vision or better. The patient's subjective perception of vision was a significant factor in determining whether scleral lens wear was continued or abandoned.

UC Davis Health System Eye Center, Sacramento, CA.

Address correspondence to Melissa Barnett, O.D., F.A.A.O., UC Davis Health System Eye Center, 4860 Y St, Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA 95817; e-mail:

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supported by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Accepted April 06, 2015

© 2016 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.