To report postoperative complications of keratolimbal allograft (KLAL) transplantation in patients with bilateral total limbal stem cell deficiency.
In this retrospective observational case series, medical charts of 45 patients with at least 6 months of follow-up were reviewed. The main outcome measure was postoperative complications including graft-related issues (thickness, position, and alignment) and immunologic rejection.
Sixty-six KLALs were performed on 45 eyes. The mean follow-up period was 26.1 ± 11.8 months (range, 6–48 months). Primary failure occurred in 5 eyes primarily as a result of ocular surface exposure and severe dry eyes. Graft-related complications included misalignment (4 eyes), buttonhole (4), inner-edge tear (4), inadvertent limbal trephination (2), and thick KLAL (2). Postoperatively, regional thinning of the graft was observed in 8 KLALs as a result of exposure, regional ischemia, and after epithelial rejection. Acute rejection was diagnosed 16 times in 8 eyes, whereas chronic rejection was observed in 24 eyes. At last follow-up, 12 cases (26.6%) had failed because of recurrent acute rejection (4), chronic rejection (5), refractory herpetic keratitis (1), exposure (1), and refractory papillomavirus keratitis (1).
KLAL may be complicated by several adverse events. The most important complications are immunologic rejections, chronic ocular surface exposure, and graft-related complications.