To report 2 cases of spontaneous Descemet membrane (DM) detachment 20 years after penetrating keratoplasty for keratoconus.Methods:
A retrospective chart review of 2 patients was performed.Results:
Two male patients—ages 59 and 50—presented 21 and 25 years, respectively, after uncomplicated penetrating keratoplasty for keratoconus, complaining of foreign body sensation. Best-corrected vision was 20/40 and 20/30, respectively. For both patients, slit-lamp examination revealed peripheral corneal thinning and steepening and temporal peripheral microcystic edema of the graft without any sign of rejection. Subsequent anterior segment optical coherence tomography demonstrated a DM detachment localized to the area of the corneal edema. One patient's DM failed to reattach after anterior chamber air injection and he then underwent successful Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty with resultant best-corrected vision of 20/20. The other patient failed mechanical incision at the graft–host interface with air injection for possible retrocorneal membrane and then successfully underwent a sequential cataract and Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty with visual acuity of 20/30.Conclusions:
Spontaneous DM detachment more than 2 decades after uncomplicated penetrating keratoplasty for keratoconus is a previously unrecognized entity. Novel imaging modalities such as anterior segment optical coherence tomography should be used to identify this clinically difficult to detect etiology of microcystic corneal edema. The cause of DM detachment is unclear, but it may be because of mechanical forces from a retrocorneal membrane or from progressive keratoconus leading to peripheral host corneal steepening and thinning.