Precut tissue for Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty: vision, astigmatism, and endothelial survival

Ophthalmology. 2009 Feb;116(2):248-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.09.017. Epub 2008 Dec 16.


Purpose: To report 6 and 12 month results using precut tissue for Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and correlate donor characteristics with clinical outcomes.

Design: Prospective, noncomparative, interventional case series.

Participants: We reviewed 100 donor corneas precut for 100 eyes of 90 DSAEK patients.

Methods: Our first 100 consecutive cases of DSAEK with precut tissue were entered into a prospective protocol. Donor characteristics and the visual, refractive, topographic, and specular microscopy results at 6 and 12 months were analyzed. Correlation analysis comparing donor characteristics with clinical outcomes was performed.

Main outcome measures: Six- and 12-month postoperative best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), refractive astigmatism, topographic keratometry (K), and specular endothelial cell densities (ECD) were measured prospectively and then compared with preoperative values. Donor characteristics analyzed included death to preservation time, death to surgery time, precutting resection to surgery time, and graft thickness.

Results: Six months after DSAEK surgery, BSCVA improved from 20/83 to 20/38. (P<0.01). In eyes with no known comorbidity (n = 60), 92% had a vision of >/=20/40 at 6 months and 20% obtained > or =20/20. Astigmatism changed an average of 0.09 diopters (D) and K changed by +0.09 D, both of which were not significant and were stable to 12 months. The postoperative mean ECD (n = 65) was 1918 cells/mm(2) at 6 months, and represented a 31% cell loss from preoperatively (P<0.001). The mean ECD (n = 61) was 1990 cells/mm(2) at 12 months, and represented a 29% cell loss from preoperatively (P<0.001) with no significant change from 6 to 12 months (P = 0.172). Improvement of visual acuity from preoperative to postoperative in eyes without comorbidity was not correlated with any donor characteristic. Greater endothelial cell loss correlated with higher preoperative ECD levels (P<0.001) and with a trend toward longer precut resection to surgery times at both 6 months (P = 0.049) and 12 months (P = 0.051).

Conclusions: Precut tissue by Eye Banks for use in DSAEK surgery provides an improvement in vision with no significant change in astigmatism. Donor endothelial cell loss from 6 to 12 months is stable and is comparable with reports involving tissue that is cut intraoperatively.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosures may be found after the references.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Astigmatism / physiopathology*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Survival
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery*
  • Corneal Topography
  • Corneal Transplantation / methods*
  • Descemet Membrane / surgery*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / pathology
  • Endothelium, Corneal / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Tissue Donors
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*
  • Visual Acuity / physiology