Results of therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty

Ophthalmology. 1993 Apr;100(4):534-41. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(13)31631-5.


Purpose: To determine the anatomic and visual results of therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and its role in the management of corneal disease.

Methods: The authors reviewed the records of all of their patients who had undergone therapeutic PK over the past 9 years and evaluated each for the following criteria: cure of disease, graft clarity, and visual acuity. Patients were divided into seven categories: (1 and 2) bacterial and fungal keratitis, (3 and 4) herpetic keratitis, with and without inflammation, (5) acanthamoebic keratitis, (6) perforations due to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and (7) other causes of perforation.

Results: In microbial keratitis, therapeutic PK eradicated the disease in all cases. Seventy-three percent of grafts for bacterial keratitis and 60% for fungal keratitis remained clear. A higher percentage of clarity was achieved when grafts were 9.0 mm or less. Seven patients with secondary endophthalmitis were cured with a surgical approach including therapeutic PK. In herpetic keratitis with active inflammation, only 36% of grafts remained clear, and inflammation recurred in 36%. All perforations due to post-herpetic persistent epithelial defects in "quiet" eyes were grafted successfully. In patients with severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca, eyes were anatomically stabilized in 83%, but all grafts failed because of complications from ocular surface disease.

Conclusions: Therapeutic PK is valuable in the management of microbial keratitis that does not respond to antimicrobial therapy. Results are poorer for patients with herpetic keratitis, although selected patients respond to therapeutic PK when other methods of management have failed. Patients with perforations due to keratoconjunctivitis sicca have a uniformly poor prognosis for graft clarity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / surgery
  • Corneal Diseases / surgery*
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology
  • Corneal Ulcer / surgery
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology
  • Endophthalmitis / parasitology
  • Endophthalmitis / surgery
  • Eye Infections / surgery
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Keratitis, Herpetic / surgery
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity