Simple limbal epithelial transplantation

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Simple limbal epithelial transplant (SLET) is a technique for addressing limbal stem cell deficiency. Limbal tissue from a donor eye, typically the patient's fellow healthy eye, is transplanted onto an amniotic membrane attached to the surface of the diseased eye. SLET was developed to address limitations of other techniques, specifically the technical difficulty of ex-vivo expansion of cells required in some techniques and the larger amount of valuable limbal tissue harvested in techniques not relying on ex-vivo expansion. We described how the provision of this procedure adds to the armamentarium of techniques available to treat some of the many thousands of uniocular corneal blind around the world.

Recent findings

A total of 125 patients from a recent series from our centre and 68 from a multicentre study provide evidence for efficacy mainly in cases of unilateral corneal burn. Results were comparable to other stem cell techniques described in other papers. Numerous small case reports describe the use of SLET in other contexts including ocular surface squamous neoplasia and pterygium excision.

Summary

SLET offers a cheaper and perhaps safer alternative to other techniques. Further evaluation of clinical success against its most similar analogues of conjunctival limbal autograft and cultivated limbal autograft is required.

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