An 11-Year Review of Keratoplasty in a Tertiary Referral Center in Turkey: Changing Surgical Techniques for Similar Indications

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Study aims to evaluate the indications and surgical techniques for corneal transplantation and to report changes in trends for preferred keratoplasty surgical techniques.


Clinical records of 815 consecutive corneal transplantations between January 1, 2004 and December 31, 2014 in Haydarpasa Numune Training and Research Hospital Eye Clinic were analyzed and classified into seven broad groups according to indications. Main outcome measures were change of leading indications and trends for surgical techniques.


Leading indications for keratoplasty were keratoconus (KCN) (27.7%), bullous keratopathy (BK) (23%), postinfectious corneal scars (13.5%), regrafts (13.1%), corneal dystrophies (12.1%), and noninfectious corneal scars (5.4%). Regrafts were the only indication with a significantly increasing trend (P<0.01). Since the introduction of lamellar keratoplasty (LK) techniques including deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) and Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK), there was a significant increasing trend in number and percentage of both LK techniques (DALK; P=0.001 and P=0.007, and DSAEK; P<0.001 and P<0.001, respectively) and a significant corresponding decline in the percentage of penetrating keratoplasty (PK) (P<0.01). Similarly, DALK and DSAEK replaced PK as the preferred surgical technique for KCN and BK indications, (P=0.007 and P=0.01, respectively). Although PK was the most common surgical technique over the 11-year period (54.7%), both anterior and posterior LK techniques showed an emerging trend as the procedures of choice when indicated.


No major shift was observed in the clinical indications for corneal transplantation over the previous 11 years, except for regrafts. Lamellar keratoplasty techniques largely overtook the PK technique, but PK was still the overall preferred technique in the era when both LK techniques were used.

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