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Endothelial Cell Survival and Graft Profile Analysis in Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty

Rice, Aine PhD; Spokes, David M MRCOphth; Anand, Seema; Ball, James L FRCOphth

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e3182107a18
Clinical Science

Purpose: To report the results of descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK) for a single-surgeon, consecutive case series.

Method: All patients undergoing DSEK at our institution from 2006 to 2007 under the care of a single consultant ophthalmologist were enrolled. This was a nonrandomized, retrospective case series. Grafts were dissected manually using an artificial anterior chamber and a Morlet lamellar dissector. Data were collected for refractive error, visual acuity, endothelial cell density, graft thickness, and graft profile.

Results: Twenty-one eyes of 20 patients were included. The average age at surgery was 69 ± 11 years (range, 37-88 years). The main indication for DSEK was Fuchs endothelial dystrophy. The mean preoperative best spectacle-corrected visual acuity was 1.2 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, improving to 0.48 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution postoperatively (P = 0.001). Endothelial cell density decreased postoperatively compared with preoperatively, but the rate of cell loss decreased over time. No significant correlation was observed between mean graft thickness and final visual acuity or between graft profile and refractive shift.

Conclusions: DSEK is a positive alternative to PK in the treatment of endothelial dysfunction. Visual function improves and the associated refractive change is negligible. Complication rates are low, and graft survival over 2 years is high. Manual preparation of tissue provides grafts of suitable thickness and profile, and endothelial cell density decline is comparable with that of donor's tissue cut via microkeratome or after PK.

From the *Section of Ophthalmology & Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom; †Eye Department, St James's University Hospital, Leeds, United Kingdom; and ‡Ophthalmology Department, Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London, United Kingdom.

Received for publication February 19, 2010; revision received January 1, 2011; accepted January 10, 2011.

A. Rice is supported by the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation Fellowship.

The authors state that they have no proprietary or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Reprints: Aine Rice, Section of Ophthalmology and Neuroscience, Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine, Wellcome Trust Brenner Bldg, St James's University Hospital, Leeds LS9 7TF, United Kingdom (e-mail:

Copyright © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.