Transplantation of congenitally opaque corneas

Br J Ophthalmol. 1997 Dec;81(12):1064-9. doi: 10.1136/bjo.81.12.1064.


Aims: To assess retrospectively the prognosis and complications of corneal grafting for congenital opacities.

Methods: Fifty eight eyes of infants and young children with congenital corneal opacities were studied retrospectively. Preoperative diagnoses included sclerocornea (27 eyes), Peters' anomaly (17 eyes), partial sclerocornea (12 eyes), and congenital glaucoma (two eyes). Penetrating keratoplasty was performed between 5 days and 65 months of age with a mean follow up of 40 (SD 29) months.

Results: The overall success (including regrafts) was 70% in eyes with sclerocornea, 83% for partial sclerocornea, and 100% for Peters' anomaly. However, 23 eyes had to be regrafted between 2 weeks and 110 months postoperatively. The probability of maintaining a clear graft, calculated by survival analysis, was 75% (SE 6%) at 1 year and 58% (7%) at 2 years for the entire group. Complications included cataract development (12 eyes), secondary glaucoma (14 eyes), epithelial defects (six eyes), band keratopathy (five eyes), retinal detachment (three eyes), wound leakage (two eyes), retrocorneal membrane (one eye), and microbial keratitis (two eyes).

Conclusions: It is concluded that corneal grafting for congenital opacities in infants has an excellent potential for long term survival and should be performed as early as possible for unilateral as well as bilateral involvement. The postoperative course is complex and often requires regrafting.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Corneal Opacity / congenital*
  • Corneal Opacity / surgery*
  • Diagnosis-Related Groups
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival
  • Heparin / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating*
  • Postoperative Care / methods
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Failure
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy


  • Heparin