There is currently limited information regarding the outcomes of endothelial keratoplasty in eyes with cytomegalovirus (CMV) endotheliitis. We report the results of Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) for endothelial failure secondary to CMV.
This is a retrospective review of 4 eyes of 4 patients with CMV endotheliitis and DSAEK. CMV was confirmed in each case by a positive aqueous tap on qualitative polymerase chain reaction. The clinical characteristics of the patients and postoperative outcomes were studied.
The mean age of the 4 patients was 69.6 ± 8.1 years. Two were ethnically Vietnamese, 1 Chinese, and 1 Lebanese. All were immunocompetent. Three eyes had presented with hypertensive uveitis and 1 with bullous keratopathy. Twelve DSAEKs were performed in total in the 4 eyes. Five grafts were performed without any perioperative treatment with oral valganciclovir. All subsequently failed after a mean of 8.0 ± 3.8 months. Seven grafts were managed with oral valganciclovir; 2 of these grafts failed after 18 and 37 months, and 1 graft had primary graft failure. Four grafts are currently surviving, despite an episode of CMV reactivation in 2 grafts.
In cases of unexplained corneal decompensation or early graft failure after uncomplicated DSAEK, a diagnosis of CMV infection must be considered. Subsequent management of DSAEK in such cases remains challenging. The postoperative course can be complicated by CMV reactivation, which may masquerade either as graft rejection or graft failure. Long-term treatment with oral valganciclovir or topical ganciclovir may be required to decrease graft failure rates.