To describe the outcomes of allograft ocular surface stem cell transplantation (OSST) and the complication profile of systemic immunosuppression (SI) in pediatric patients with limbal stem cell deficiency.
This was a retrospective interventional case series from a single tertiary referral institution of 20 eyes from 13 patients who 1) underwent allograft OSST surgery, 2) were 18 years or less at time of OSST, and 3) received SI with 4) a minimum of 12-months follow-up. The main outcome measures were ocular surface stability, visual acuity, and SI adverse events.
The mean age of patients was 15.1 ± 3.2 years (range 9–18 years). The mean follow-up was 5.6 ± 5.0 years after OSST. At the last follow-up, 15 eyes (75%) had a stable ocular surface, 1 eye (5%) developed partial failure, and 4 eyes (20%) developed total surface failure. Preoperative mean logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution visual acuity 1.5 improved to 1.1 at the last follow-up (P = 0.1); when 4 eyes of 3 nonadherent patients were excluded, the results were more pronounced and statistically significant (1.5 improved to 1.0, P = 0.002). SI was tolerated well by all patients with minimal adverse events.
OSST provides a stable ocular surface and is a successful treatment option for pediatric patients with limbal stem cell deficiency. SI is well-tolerated with a minimal complication profile.