Superficial Keratectomy and Conjunctival Advancement Hood Flap (SKCAHF) for the Management of Bullous Keratopathy: Validation in Dogs With Spontaneous Disease

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Abstract

Purpose:

To evaluate the efficacy of superficial keratectomy and conjunctival advancement hood flap (SKCAHF) for the treatment of bullous keratopathy in canine patients.

Methods:

Nine dogs (12 eyes) diagnosed with progressive corneal edema underwent superficial keratectomy followed by placement of conjunctival advancement hood flaps. The canine patients were examined pre- and postoperatively using in vivo confocal microscopy, ultrasonic pachymetry (USP), and Fourier-domain optical coherence tomography (FD-OCT). All owners responded to a survey regarding treatment outcomes.

Results:

Mean central corneal thickness (CCT) as measured by FD-OCT was 1163 ± 290 μm preoperatively and significantly decreased postoperatively to 795 ± 197 μm (P = 0.001), 869 ± 190 μm (P = 0.005), and 969 ± 162 μm (P = 0.033) at median postoperative evaluations occurring at 2.2, 6.8, and 12.3 months, respectively. Owners reported significant improvement (P < 0.05) in vision and corneal cloudiness at 6.8 and 12.3 months postoperatively. The percentage of cornea covered by the conjunctival flap was correlated (P = 0.0159) with a reduction in CCT by USP at 12.3 months postoperatively. All canine patients were comfortable pre- and postoperatively.

Conclusions:

SKCAHF results in a reduction of corneal thickness in canine patients with bullous keratopathy. The increase in corneal thickness over time, after performing SKCAHF, is likely because of progressive endothelial decompensation. This surgery is a potentially effective intervention for progressive corneal edema in dogs that may have value in treatment of human patients with bullous keratopathy.

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