Purpose: To report endothelial cell loss (ECL) caused by a novel S-stamp preparation technique for Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).
Methods: Six cadaveric human corneas were prepared for DMEK transplantation using a single standardized technique, including the application of a dry ink gentian violet S-stamp to the stromal side of Descemet membrane. Endothelial cell death was evaluated and quantified using computerized analysis of vital dye staining.
Results: ECL caused by the S-stamp was 0.6% (range 0.1%-1.0%), which comprised less than one-tenth of the total ECL caused by our preparation of the DMEK graft from the start to finish, including recovery, prestripping, S-stamping, and trephination (13.7% total ECL, range 9.9%-17.6%).
Conclusions: Our novel S-stamp donor tissue preparation technique is intuitive to learn and holds the promise of preventing iatrogenic primary graft failure due to upside-down grafts without causing unacceptable increases in ECL.