The Boston keratoprosthesis in Stevens-Johnson syndrome

Am J Ophthalmol. 2008 Mar;145(3):438-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2007.11.002. Epub 2008 Jan 22.


Purpose: To evaluate the use of the Boston keratoprosthesis (KPro) in patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS).

Design: Retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series.

Methods: Sixteen eyes of 15 patients with SJS underwent KPro surgery at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary from January 2000 through December 2005. The preoperative, operative, and postoperative findings were recorded. All patients underwent either the type I or type II Boston KPro surgery by one surgeon (C.H.D.). Retention of the prosthesis, best-corrected visual acuity, the need for surgical revision, and postoperative complications were recorded. The outcomes were compared with those of an earlier group of patients from the 1990s.

Results: The mean age of patients was 50+/-18 years (range, 23 to 74 years), and the mean duration of their disease was 10+/-6.6 years. The mean follow-up period was 3.6+/-1.5 years (range, 10.2 months to 5.6 years). Ten eyes underwent type II KPro surgery, whereas six eyes underwent type I KPro surgery. Twelve eyes (75%) achieved a visual acuity of 20/200 or better after surgery, with eight eyes (50%) achieving excellent vision of 20/40 or better. Visual acuity was maintained at 20/200 or better over a mean period of 2.5+/-2.0 years. Preexisting glaucoma was found to be a significant risk factor for visual loss. There were no cases of KPro extrusion or endophthalmitis.

Conclusions: KPro in SJS has improved, largely because of the introduction of vancomycin prophylaxis and better glaucoma treatment. It seems to be superior to standard penetrating keratoplasty, with or without allografted stem cell transplantation, as judged from the literature. However, the outcome of the KPro in SJS is still substantially less favorable than in nonautoimmune diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Conjunctival Diseases / surgery*
  • Cornea*
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery*
  • Female
  • Graft Survival / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Prosthesis Implantation*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Stevens-Johnson Syndrome / surgery*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology