Preconditioned Donor Corneal Thickness for Microthin Endothelial Keratoplasty

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Purpose:To describe a novel surgical technique to produce thin endothelial grafts for Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK).Methods:Thirteen human cadaveric corneas in organ culture were randomized into conventional (n = 7) and microthin (n = 6) DSAEK groups. Grafts in the conventional DSAEK group were prepared using the conventional DSAEK technique of a single microkeratome pass with a 350-μm cutting head. Corneas in the microthin group were preconditioned to achieve a target central thickness of 530 μm before graft dissection with a 350-μm microkeratome head. Preconditioning involved stromal dehydration under pachymetric control using sterile airflow for 15-second increments. Donor and graft thicknesses were assessed with optical coherence tomography, and endothelial viability with trypan blue and alizarin red staining.Results:Mean endothelial graft thickness obtained using the microthin DSAEK technique was 106 μm (SD, 32 μm) compared with 177 μm (SD, 33 μm) obtained using conventional DSAEK technique (P = 0.0024). Donor preconditioning yielded a predicted reduction of 100 μm in graft stromal thickness at a rate of 1.5 μm/s and mean duration of 72 seconds. The average anterior lamella thickness (cut depth) obtained in microthin and conventional DSAEK groups were 424 and 431 μm, respectively (P = 0.84). There was no difference in endothelial viability between the 2 groups. There were no corneal perforations during graft preparation in this study.Conclusions:Donor preconditioning by pachymetry-controlled stromal dehydration achieved significantly thinner endothelial grafts compared with the conventional DSAEK technique without compromise to endothelial viability or graft wastage.

    loading  Loading Related Articles