To compare the effectiveness of deep lamellar keratoplasty (DLK) with that of penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) in cases of corneal lesions not involving the endothelium.
Forty-eight eyes with leukomatous corneal opacity (n = 33), keratoconus with apical scarring (n = 6), granular corneal dystrophy (n = 5), lattice corneal dystrophy (n = 2), and multiple corneal foreign bodies (n = 2) in an age group varying from 16 to 53 years underwent DLK (n = 24) and PKP (n = 24) by utilizing B and (B+ and A) grade M-K preserved donor tissue, respectively. The patients were followed up closely, and the graft clarity, visual achievement, astigmatism and endothelial cell count were evaluated at repeated occasions up to 1 year.
Astigmatism of <3 diopters (D) and greater than equal to5D was obtained in 19 eyes and one eye, respectively, after DLK at 6 months, whereas six eyes of the PKP group had astigmatism <3D, and 12 eyes had greater than equal to5D at the end of 6 months. The same at 1 year was observed in 20 and one eye in the DLK and eight and five eyes of the PKP group. Astigmatism of greater than equal to5D at the end of 6 months in both the groups showed highly significant changes (p < 0.001). Best corrected visual acuity of 6/18 or more was achieved in 18 and 12 eyes at 6 months after DLK and PKP, respectively, which were statistically highly significant (p < 0.001), whereas at 1 year, it was seen in 17 and 15 eyes of the DLK and PKP groups, respectively, which was nonsignificant. The mean endothelial cell count was 2,233.3 ± 64.453 cells/mm2 and 2,219.6 ± 102.48 cells/mm2 at 6 months and 1 year, respectively, after DLK, which was nonsignificant. The mean cell count of the donor eyes used for PKP was 2,191 ± 52.164 cells/mm2, 1,902.8 ± 70.346 cells/mm2 at 6 months, and 1,579.0 ± 80.24 cells/mm2 at 1 year. All the values showed highly significant changes (p < 0.001). Further, the graft clarity of greater than equal to3+ was achieved in 20 and 18 eyes at 6 months postoperatively in the DLK and PKP groups, whereas the same was observed in 19 and 13 eyes of both the groups, respectively, at 1-year follow-up.
DLK is a promising procedure and should be practiced more frequently for corneal pathology not involving the endothelium.
From the Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
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Submitted January 16, 1998. Revision received July 16, 1998. Accepted July 21, 1998.