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Amniotic Membrane Transplantation for Ocular Surface Reconstruction

Fernandes, Merle MS; Sridhar, Mittanamalli S MD; Sangwan, Virender S MS; Rao, Gullapalli N MD, FRCS

doi: 10.1097/01.ico.0000151501.80952.c5

The amniotic membrane, composed of 3 layers, the epithelium, basement membrane, and the stroma, was first used along with the chorion as a biologic membrane to promote healing of skin burns in 1910. In ophthalmology, it was used in 1940 in the management of conjunctival defects. Its revival in the 1990s was due to its ability to reduce ocular surface inflammation and scarring, promote rapid epithelialization due to the presence of growth factors, and antimicrobial properties. This has resulted in its application in several ocular disorders. A review of the literature shows that amniotic membrane is definitely beneficial in some but not all pathology. The future of amniotic membrane transplantation is very exciting, especially in the field of limbal stem cell research. However, further work is needed to elucidate whether it functions merely as a biologic contact lens or whether it has additional benefits.

From the Cornea and Anterior Segment Service, LV Prasad Eye Institute, LV Prasad Marg, Hyderabad, India.

Received for publication April 15, 2004; revision received September 21, 2004; accepted September 25, 2004.

Reprints: Merle Fernandes, MS, LV Prasad Eye Institute, LV Prasad Maarg, Banjara Hills, Hyderabad 500 034, India (e-mail:,

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.