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Cornea. 2006 Sep;25(8):943-7.

Donor descemet membrane detachment after endothelial keratoplasty.

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John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.



To describe histopathologic characteristics of an endothelial keratoplasty (EK) that was performed to treat a previously failed penetrating keratoplasty (PK) and in which the cornea failed to clear after partial detachment of Descemet membrane from the EK donor button. The Descemet membrane and endothelium from the PK were intentionally retained during the EK procedure.


After EK, the cornea failed to fully clear in 5 months, and a PK was performed. The removed corneal button was grossly described and routinely processed for hematoxylin-eosin (H&E) and periodic acid-Schiff (PAS) staining, with photographs taken of any pertinent findings.


Grossly on the endothelial side, there was some adherent iris pigment delineating an off-center fold in the EK Descemet membrane, consistent with intraoperative observation of a fold across the width of the donor button and postoperative slit-lamp images showing partial detachment of Descemet membrane. Microscopic examination revealed a recipient corneal button from a prior PK centrally and EK donor button attached posteriorly. Descemet membrane was not stripped from the prior PK during EK and was intact. No endothelial cells were detected on the PK Descemet membrane. The anterior stromal surface of the EK was well apposed to the prior PK Descemet membrane, with no pseudoanterior chamber or cleft of any type noted between them. The EK Descemet membrane had a central fold, and the endothelium was markedly attenuated.


The EK graft was well apposed with apparent good adherence to the recipient's prior failed PK, and early endothelial failure was attributable to partial Descemet membrane detachment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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