Lutein and Brilliant Blue-Based Dye for Donor Preparation and Transplantation in Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty

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Abstract

Purpose:

Trypan blue (TB) is used for visualization of the endothelium–Descemet membrane graft during Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). However, TB is assumed to have a dose-dependent toxic effect on the corneal endothelium. We retrospectively compared a lutein/zeaxanthin and Brilliant Blue (LZ/BB)-based dye for preparation and transplantation of the graft in DMEK to TB.

Methods:

In 20 patients, a dye composed of 1% LZ /0.025% BB was used, and in 22 patients, 0.06% TB was used for graft visualization in DMEK. We evaluated the rebubbling rate, best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), central corneal thickness (CCT), and endothelial cell density (ECD) before and 3 and 6 months after transplantation.

Results:

Staining of endothelium–Descemet membrane with LZ/BB was faint but sufficient. There was no significant difference between both groups, except in CCT after 3 months, which was lower in the LZ/BB group (P = 0.02). In the LZ/BB group, BSCVA improved from 0.48 ± 0.39 before DMEK to 0.19 ± 0.09 after 6 months (P < 0.05) (20% rebubbling rate). Donor ECD decreased from 2735 ± 259 cells/m2 preoperatively to 1876 ± 316 cells/mm2 (P < 0.0001) at 6 months (31.4%). CCT decreased from 642 ± 130 μm preoperatively to 519.8 ± 38 μm (P < 0.0001) at 6 months. In the TB group, BSCVA improved from 0.43 ± 0.27 to 0.17 ± 0.14 (P = 0.0003) at 6 months (30% rebubbling rate). ECD decreased from 2825 ± 263 to 1777 ± 302 cells/mm2 (P < 0.0001) after 6 months (36.3%), CCT from 638 ± 48 μm preoperatively to 531 ± 48 μm (P < 0.0001) at 6 months.

Conclusions:

LZ/BB-based dyes are suitable for DMEK with outcomes comparable to TB. However, available formulas result in faint staining, discouraging their routine use in donors with assumed difficult preparation.

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