Keratocyte repopulation in epikeratoplasty specimens

Cornea. 1998 Mar;17(2):180-4. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199803000-00011.


Purpose: To study the histology and pattern of keratocyte repopulation of surgically removed human epikeratoplasty lenticules.

Methods: Removed epikeratoplasty lenticules and penetrating keratoplasty buttons that contained epikeratoplasty lenticules were evaluated for duration of epikeratoplasty, histologic and ultrastructural features, and average number of keratocytes per high-power microscopic field. The keratocyte density was compared with age-matched controls.

Results: Fifteen epikeratoplasty specimens from eight penetrating keratoplasties and seven removed lenticules were reviewed. The indications for keratoplasty were myopia, keratoconus, and aphakia. The lenticules were in place for 7-120 months, and the keratocyte count ranged from 14 to 40 per high-power field. Keratocyte density increased to 30-40 per high-power field, similar to age-matched controls, at approximately 48 months postoperatively, similar to the density of the controls. Keratocytes appeared to have migrated from the periphery to the center of the lenticules.

Conclusions: Normal keratocyte density in epikeratoplasty lenticules is reached by approximately 48 months after surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aphakia, Postcataract / surgery
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cornea / cytology*
  • Cornea / physiology
  • Cornea / ultrastructure
  • Epikeratophakia*
  • Female
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Fibroblasts / physiology
  • Fibroblasts / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Keratoconus / surgery
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myopia / surgery