Purpose: Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid and Stevens-Johnson syndrome often cause ocular damage and blindness not amenable to surgical correction. We present a new surgical technique for reconstructing affected eyes.
Methods: Fourteen eyes of 11 patients with cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis (seven patients with cicatricial pemphigoid and four with Stevens-Johnson syndrome; average age +/- S.D., 55.5 +/- 25.4 years) were treated with a combination of allograft limbal transplantation, amniotic membrane transplantation, and tarsorrhaphy, followed every 15 minutes by artificial tears derived from the patient's blood serum. Eight eyes required concomitant penetrating or lamellar keratoplasty because of corneal opacity.
Results: With a mean follow-up of 143 days (range, 10 to 608 days), we achieved successful ocular surface reconstruction in 12 eyes, with minimal recurrence of symblepharon. Failure occurred in two eyes (one each in 9- and 10-year-old boys) that developed corneal infiltration and vascularization.
Conclusions: A combination of allograft limbal transplantation, amniotic membrane transplantation, and tarsorrhaphy, followed by the use of serum-derived tears, can reconstruct the ocular surface in most cases. Although in this study the follow-up period was short and relatively few patients were studied, this approach appears to offer an alternative to keratoprosthesis for treating severe cicatricial keratoconjunctivitis with dry eye.