To evaluate the outcomes of ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK) performed in eyes after failure of primary Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).Methods
This was a retrospective, non-comparative interventional case series done in a tertiary care hospital. The study group included 21 eyes of patients which underwent UT-DSAEK following the failure of primary DMEK. Outcome measures included best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) and endothelial cell density (ECD) both recorded 6 and 12 months postoperatively as well as central graft thickness (CGT) measured 6 months after UT-DSAEK.Results
When considering only eyes without comorbidities (17 of 21), 12 months after UT-DSAEK, BSCVA was ≥20/25 in 12/13 (92%) eyes and ≥20/20 in 4/13 (30%) eyes. Mean ECD loss rate was 38.9% at 12 months postoperatively (range 8%-57%). Six months postoperatively, CGT averaged at 81±34 μm (range 34-131 μm). No intraoperative complications were recorded. Postoperatively, one patient (no. 8) had graft wrinkles that were fixed 2 days following UT-DSAEK. Four patients have developed intraocular lens (IOL) opacification, and two of them underwent IOL exchange. No other postoperative complications were recorded.Conclusions
UT-DSAEK is instrumental in the management of primary DMEK graft failure, allowing visual rehabilitation which is comparable with that of repeat DMEK.