Purpose: To evaluate the endothelial cell loss at 6 and 12 months after Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) using a modified 40/60 underfolding technique and to compare this to the literature on other commonly used implantation techniques, such as the conventional 60/40-fold, gliding, and hitch suture techniques.
Methods: Endothelial cell density was measured prospectively, and cell loss was calculated at 6 and 12 months after endothelial keratoplasty using a recently described underfolding implantation technique.
Results: In this study, 305 eyes undergoing DSAEK were evaluated. Average endothelial cell loss was 26% at 6 months and 27% at 12 months, all statistically significant reductions from preoperative values (P < 0.01). The decrease in cell count from 6 months to 12 months was not statistically significant.
Conclusions: This study demonstrates reduction in endothelial cell loss after DSAEK using the underfold technique when compared with previous reports on conventional folding techniques and similarity to previous reports on glide techniques at 6 and 12 months postoperatively (26% vs. 34% vs. 23% at 6 months). This offers an easy modification to a commonly used existing technique and improves endothelial cell survival after DSAEK.