Long-term outcomes following primary versus secondary Boston keratoprosthesis type 1 implantation

Br J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul;106(7):935-940. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2020-317606. Epub 2021 Feb 23.


Background/aims: To compare long-term outcomes of primary versus secondary (postgraft failure) Boston keratoprosthesis type 1 (KPro) implantation.

Methods: Medical records of patients at the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal having undergone KPro implantation between 2008 and 2017 were reviewed and included if they had a preoperative Snellen best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) of 20/100 or worse and a minimum of 5 years of follow-up. Eighty-two eyes were separated into two cohorts (40 primary, 42 secondary KPro) and BCVA, complications and device retention were evaluated between groups.

Results: BCVA improved from baseline in both groups at each year; this was significant at all five postoperative years in the primary group and the first 3 years in the secondary group (p<0.05). Mean BCVA was similar between groups at 5 years (logarithm of minimal angle resolution 1.3±0.8 in the primary group vs 1.5±0.8 p<0.05). Idiopathic vitritis, choroidal detachment and new glaucoma occurred more after primary KPro (n=7, 17.5% vs n=1, 2.4%; n=11, 27.5% vs n=3, 7.14% and n=14, 35% vs n=6, 14%, respectively; p<0.05). Primary KPro had lower retention (n=28, 70% vs n=38, 91%, p<0.05) at final follow-up. There was more aniridia in the primary group (n=19, 48% vs n=6, 14%, p<0.01). Within each group, 50% of removals occurred in aniridic eyes.

Conclusion: Primary KPro yielded favourable long-term visual outcomes but had more complications and lower retention rates than secondary KPro, likely explained by preoperative indications. Primary device implantation represents a favourable option for patients for whom grafts are likely to fail.

Keywords: cornea; ocular surface; prosthesis; treatment surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Artificial Organs*
  • Cornea / surgery
  • Corneal Diseases* / surgery
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Retrospective Studies