Purpose: The purpose of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of allogenic conjunctival transplantation in bilateral surface disorders and to correlate with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing and cross-matching.
Methods: A prospective study of allogenic conjunctival transplantation was undertaken in 12 eyes of 10 patients with bilateral surface disorders. Five eyes had Stevens-Johnson syndrome, three had Lyell syndrome, three had bilateral alkali burns, and one had a bilateral thermal burn. Human leukocyte antigen typing and cross-matching were retrospectively performed in eight patients and their respective donors. Stabilization of corneal epithelia, visual acuity, and rejection episodes were examined after the procedure.
Results: Eleven (91.6%) of 12 eyes had improved visual acuity, corneal transparency and surface lubrication, stabilization of corneal epithelia, and decreased corneal neovascularization and photophobia after an average follow-up of 17.2 months. Three patients (25%) had rejection episodes, with no disturbance in corneal surface in two. Two of these three patients had 100% incompatible HLA donor-recipient pairs; HLA of the third patient was not available. Patients with favorable evolution were either HLA identical or haplo-identical (50% identity) with their donors. Donor eyes did not present any epithelial problems during the follow-up period.
Conclusions: Human leukocyte antigen-matched allogenic conjunctival transplantation proved to be an adequate method of treating severe bilateral surface disorders, with minimal complications.