Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty using ophthalmic viscoelastic devices for eyes with laser iridotomy-induced corneal endothelial decompensation: Analysis of 11 eyes

Medicine (Baltimore). 2018 Jun;97(26):e11245. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000011245.


Graft insertion into the anterior chamber is one of the most important procedures for successful Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK). Especially in eyes with fragile zonular fibers and a shallow anterior chamber, smooth graft insertion tends to become more difficult. Ophthalmic viscoelastic devices (OVDs) can usually help to retain the space in the anterior chamber and to improve the safety of manipulations during various ophthalmic surgeries. Therefore, we postulated that graft insertion into the anterior chamber could be improved by their use. The purpose of this study is to investigate the availability and efficacy of OVDs during graft insertion in DMEK surgery.A total of 11 eyes of 9 patients with bullous keratopathy who underwent DMEK were retrospectively analyzed. The cause of bullous keratopathy was corneal endothelial decompensation following laser iridotomy in all eyes. We used low viscous dispersive OVD (Opegan) to maintain the anterior chamber depth during graft insertion in all of the eyes.The graft insertion was uneventful in all of the eyes. The inserted graft was attached to the back surface of the cornea. However, 2 eyes needed rebubbling, and after rebubbling, all of the 2 grafts completely attached to the back surface of the cornea. The best spectacle-corrected visual acuity significantly improved 6 months after surgery (P < .001) and the central corneal thickness significantly decreased (P < .001).The use of OVD facilitates safer graft insertion during DMEK, and subsequently prevents endothelial cell loss, which leads to a successful procedure.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Chamber / surgery
  • Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss / etiology
  • Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss / surgery*
  • Descemet Membrane / surgery
  • Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty / methods*
  • Endothelium, Corneal / pathology
  • Endothelium, Corneal / transplantation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laser Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Viscoelastic Substances / administration & dosage*
  • Visual Acuity


  • Viscoelastic Substances