To compare the outcomes of 400-μm microkeratome head with 350-μm microkeratome head Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) in a prospective comparative study.
Twenty cases of pseudophakic bullous keratopathy were randomly allocated into two groups. Group 1 underwent slow, single-pass 400-μm microkeratome head, whereas group 2 underwent the standard technique of DSAEK using a 350-μm microkeratome head. The primary outcome measures were best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at 6 months.
Groups were comparable in baseline characteristics. The mean central graft thickness (GT) at 6 months in group 1 was significantly thinner than group 2 (90.44±28.67 vs. 165.60±62.74 μm; P=0.003). The BCVA and contrast sensitivity were significantly better in group 1 than in group 2 (BCVA: 0.34±0.15 vs. 0.53±0.19 logMAR units, P=0.02; contrast sensitivity: 1.48±0.13 vs. 1.06±0.22, P=0.001). A significant correlation was found between both postoperative BCVA and contrast sensitivity, with the postoperative GT using Spearman rho correlation analysis (R=0.534, P=0.01 for BCVA and R=−0.522, P=0.02 for contrast sensitivity). The percentage endothelial cell loss was comparable between the 2 groups at the last follow-up (P=0.3). No major complications were observed during the study period.
The use of a 400-μm microkeratome head instead of 350-μm head can improve the visual outcomes in DSAEK without increasing the risk of complications. The thickness of the DSAEK graft can affect the visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.