Objective: To compare graft stability and astigmatic change using suture vs tissue adhesive in an experimental model of microkeratome-assisted posterior lamellar keratoplasty.
Methods: A 300-microm-thick partial flap keratectomy was performed in human donor corneoscleral rims using an artificial anterior chamber and a manual microkeratome. The flap stopped at the left central opening border, providing a wide hinge to add stability. After flap reflection, a 6.25-mm trephination was performed to obtain a disc of posterior stroma, Descemet membrane, and endothelium. The disc was positioned in a sutureless fashion, and the flap secured with either 5 interrupted sutures or a chondroitin-sulfate-aldehyde-based adhesive. Increasing intrachamber pressures were created to detect graft stability. Videokeratographic data were recorded to evaluate astigmatic change.
Results: The mean (SD) astigmatic change was 3.08 (0.84) diopters (D) in the sutured group and 1.13 (0.55) D in the glued group (P = .008). Mean (SD) resisted pressures were 95.68 (27.38) mm Hg and 82.45 (18.40) mm Hg in the sutured and glued groups, respectively (P = .97).
Conclusion: This modified technique of microkeratome-assisted posterior lamellar keratoplasty showed excellent graft stability in both groups. Flaps sealed with the novel tissue adhesive had reduced astigmatic changes in our experimental model.
Clinical relevance: Sutureless microkeratome-assisted posterior lamellar keratoplasty using tissue adhesive may become a new alternative in the surgical treatment of corneal endothelial disorders.