Purpose: Our group performed cultivated allogeneic corneal epithelial transplantation in 13 eyes from 11 patients with severe ocular surface disorders. After the clinical application of this new surgical treatment, some patients experienced epithelial and subepithelial opacities. We applied our procedure again in these patients to achieve successful ocular surface reconstruction.
Methods: The corneal limbal epithelial cells from donor corneas were cultivated for 4 weeks on denuded amniotic membrane (AM) carrier, with 3T3 fibroblast coculture and airlifting. The study subjects consisted of 3 patients. At 3 and 12 months after the first operation, the failed epithelial graft with AM was replaced with new allogeneic corneal epithelium cultivated on AM.
Results: At 48 hours after transplantation, the corneal surfaces of the 3 eyes were clear and smooth; the entire corneal surfaces were evenly covered with the transplanted cultivated corneal epithelium, which did not stain with fluorescein. The ocular surface epithelia of these patients are all stable without epithelial defects.
Conclusions: We have shown that, in cases where the initially transplanted cultivated epithelium becomes opaque, it is possible to repeat the transplantation process with new cultivated epithelium on AM.