Purpose: To analyze the 6-month anterior and posterior topographic changes of the cornea after deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty.
Methods: Orbscan topographies of 22 eyes from 21 patients with corneal decompensation were retrospectively analyzed: 11 eyes received a 9-mm scleral access incision (large-incision group) and 11 eyes received a 5-mm scleral access incision (small-incision group). All the preoperative and postoperative corneal raw data were imported into custom software which computed the average composite corneal maps and difference maps for both study groups in order to evaluate the corneal response to the surgery. The software delineated 2 concentric zones of the cornea to characterize the regional response following the surgery: the central and peripheral regions.
Results: There were no significant differences (analysis of variance, <0.35 D, p>0.05) between 6-month postoperative and preoperative average anterior central corneal topographies in either group. At the end of follow-up, the average posterior curvature tangential map did not significantly differ from before surgery in either group (<0.35 D, p>0.05). However, a significant increase (>0.60 D, p<0.01) in the average posterior central astigmatic power of the cornea was found in both groups.
Conclusions: Deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty effectively preserves the preoperative keratometric corneal topography, minimizing changes in curvature and astigmatism of the cornea. The great predictability of corneal topography following deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty is likely to be attributed to the minimal changes that occur in the anterior stroma, the portion of the cornea that appears to be mainly responsible for maintenance of corneal shape.