Femtosecond laser and microkeratome-assisted Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty: first clinical results

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To perform Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) using a novel technique to obtain very thin (<100 µm) posterior corneal disks.


Twenty five DSAEK grafts were prepared with two sequential cuts: the first cut, of variable thickness, was made with a femtosecond laser and the second with a 300 µm microkeratome head. Spectacle corrected visual acuity, endothelial cell density evaluation with specular microscopy and anterior segment optical coherence tomography to measure central and peripheral graft thickness was performed preoperatively and postoperatively at 1, 3 and 6 months.


There were no irregular cuts or perforations during tissue preparation. Central graft thickness was 79.6 µm (SD±14.5; range 54–98) and 69.3 µm (SD±14.2; range 49–96) at 3 and 6 months. Corrected distance visual acuity improved from 0.91 logMAR preoperatively to 0.11 logMAR at 6 months. Donor endothelial cells averaged 2675 cells/mm2 preoperatively and 1729 cells/mm2 at 6 months. There were no graft detachments.


This new technique consistently yielded very thin grafts (<100 µm), excellent visual acuity results and good endothelial cell counts. No donor tissue was wasted.

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