Purpose: To clarify the relationship between visual acuity after Descemet-stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) and the preoperative duration of stromal edema. Setting: Yamaguchi University Hospital, Yamaguchi, Japan. Design: Comparative case series. Methods: Patients who had DSAEK were divided into 2 groups based on whether the preoperative duration of stromal edema was less than 12 months (Group A) or more than 12 months (Group B). No patient had postoperative conditions that might have affected postoperative visual outcomes. Postoperatively, the corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) was measured and the morphology of the anterior cornea evaluated by in vivo laser confocal microscopy. Results: The postoperative CDVA in Group A ranged from 20/50 to 20/16 at 3 months and from 20/66 to 20/16 at 6 months; the maximum CDVA was 20/40 to 20/13. The postoperative CDVA in Group B ranged from 20/66 to 20/40 at 3 months and 6 months; the maximum CDVA was 20/66 to 20/33. The structure of the anterior cornea was normal in patients in Group A but was abnormal with fibroblastic cells in the anterior stroma in patients in Group B. Conclusions: Patients with a preoperative duration of stromal edema of more than 12 months had pathologic changes in the corneal stroma that may have adversely affected visual acuity after DSAEK. Given that stromal edema, including that associated with bullous keratopathy, has been proposed to be a progressive condition, DSAEK may be most effective when performed early after the onset of edema, before the occurrence of pathologic changes in the stroma. Financial Disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems