Combined Conjunctival Limbal Autografts and Living-Related Conjunctival Limbal Allografts for Severe Unilateral Ocular Surface Failure

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Abstract

Purpose:

To describe the technique and present 2 cases of a combined conjunctival limbal autograft (CLAU) and living-related conjunctival limbal allograft (lr-CLAL) procedure for treatment of severe unilateral ocular surface failure.

Methods:

Interventional case series of 2 eyes of 2 patients sustaining severe thermal/chemical injuries from firework explosions. They both underwent the combined CLAU/lr-CLAL procedure followed by penetrating keratoplasty. Systemic immunosuppression consisted of oral tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil.

Results:

Preoperative vision was counting fingers for both patients, whereas visual acuity at last follow-up ranged between 20/40 and 20/50. Both patients maintained a stable surface at last follow-up without any episodes of rejection. Patients tolerated systemic immunosuppression well without any persistent adverse reactions.

Conclusions:

Certain etiologies of limbal stem cell deficiency also lead to significant conjunctival (and goblet cell) deficiency. Combined CLAU and lr-CLAL procedures maximize the amount of healthy limbal stem cells with conjunctiva while also minimizing the antigenic burden as all transplanted tissue potentially can be a complete (or near-complete), compatible HLA and crossmatch.

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