July 14, 2014
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Long-term DMEK-associated endothelial cell loss lower than in DSEK, PK

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Endothelial cell loss associated with Descemet’s membrane endothelial keratoplasty compared favorably with that of Descemet’s stripping endothelial keratoplasty and penetrating keratoplasty at 5 years, according to a study.

Additionally, endothelial cell loss did not increase significantly when a single air reinjection was used with DMEK.

Researchers retrospectively analyzed data collected from 926 DMEK procedures; 673 eyes met the inclusion criteria of at least 6 months of follow-up.

The researchers recorded endothelial cell density preoperatively and at 1, 3 and 6 months, and annually for up to 5 years. Variance analysis was used to evaluate a potential association between air reinjection and endothelial cell loss.

In cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses, median endothelial cell loss was 26% at 1 month and increased to 39% at 5 years. Earlier reports showed median 5-year endothelial cell loss rates of 53% for DSEK and 70% for PK, according to the researchers.

Rates of cell loss were similar in cases with no air reinjection or one reinjection; rates were markedly higher in eyes with two or more reinjections, the researchers found (P = .017).

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial disclosures.