Evolution of Endothelial Keratoplasty: Where Are We Headed?

Cornea. 2015 Oct:34 Suppl 10:S41-7. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0000000000000505.


In less than 10 years, the proportion of endothelial keratoplasty (EK) procedures has increased from less than 5% of the corneal grafts in the United States to over half. EK has made corneal grafts safer and provides better and more predictable visual results than standard full-thickness penetrating keratoplasty. Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty in particular has dramatically reduced the risk of rejection, allowing reduction in topical corticosteroid use, resulting in a lower incidence of steroid-induced intraocular pressure elevation. By removing the confounding effects of ocular surface disease, which is exacerbated by the sutures and anesthetic corneas associated with full-thickness grafts, EK has revealed that the greatest risk factor for graft failure is filtration surgery, particularly aqueous shunts. As the use of glaucoma filtering tubes continues to increase, they may become a leading cause of corneal decompensation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty / methods*
  • Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty / trends*
  • Filtering Surgery / adverse effects
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants / adverse effects
  • Graft Rejection / etiology
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors