Endothelial keratoplasty for Fuchs' dystrophy with cataract: complications and clinical results with the new triple procedure

Ophthalmology. 2009 Apr;116(4):631-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2008.11.004. Epub 2009 Feb 8.


Purpose: To report the immediate postoperative complications and the 6- and 12-month clinical results in a large series of cases undergoing the new triple-procedure Descemet's stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and concurrent cataract surgery.

Design: Prospective, noncomparative, interventional case series.

Participants: Three hundred fifteen eyes of 233 patients with Fuchs' corneal dystrophy were evaluated for the complications of dislocation and iatrogenic primary graft failure (IPGF). Two hundred three eyes of 149 patients had 6-month postoperative data available for other outcome analysis.

Methods: A standardized technique of DSAEK with extensive use of cohesive viscoelastic was performed in all 315 eyes with Fuchs' dystrophy, and 225 of those eyes had cataract surgery concurrently. Of the 203 eyes with 6-month data, concurrent phacoemulsification with intraocular lens placement (triple procedure) was performed in 149 of those eyes.

Main outcome measures: The complications of graft dislocation and IPGF were recorded for all eyes. Six- and 12-month postoperative best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), refractive spherical equivalent (SE), and central donor endothelial cell density (ECD) were measured prospectively and then compared with preoperative values for the triple-procedure eyes.

Results: There were 4 dislocations (4%) among the 90 straight DSAEK cases and 4 dislocations (1.8%) among the 225 triple-procedure cases (P = 0.327). There was not a single case of IPGF in any of the 315 DSAEK cases. After the triple procedure, the BSCVA in eyes without comorbidity (n = 122) improved with 93% at 20/40 or better at 6 months and 97% at 20/40 or better at 12 months. Refractive SE at 6 months averaged 0.11+/-1.08 diopters (D), with 73% of eyes within 1 D of emmetropia and 95% within 2 D of emmetropia. The postoperative mean ECD was 1955 cells/mm(2) at 6 months (n = 125) and 1979 cells/mm(2) at 12 months (n = 89) and represented a 32% cell loss from that before surgery (P<0.001) for both postoperative time points.

Conclusions: The new triple-procedure DSAEK combined with cataract surgery provides rapid visual recovery and allows selection of an appropriate intraocular lens. Dislocations are rare (1.8%) and primary graft failure did not occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cataract / complications*
  • Corneal Transplantation / methods*
  • Descemet Membrane / surgery*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / transplantation*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fuchs' Endothelial Dystrophy / complications
  • Fuchs' Endothelial Dystrophy / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viscoelastic Substances / administration & dosage
  • Visual Acuity


  • Viscoelastic Substances