Send to

Choose Destination
Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 2008 Jul;225(7):637-48. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1027485.

[Deep anterior lamellar (DALK) vs. penetrating keratoplasty (PKP): a clinical and statistical analysis].

[Article in German]

Author information

Ophthalmologie, Klinik Krumeich, Bochum.



Results of deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK) have been analysed regarding the BCVA, cylinder values, endothelial cell counts and complications both clinically and statistically. An answer to the question is sought as to whether DALK is an equal or better alternative to penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) given all indications with intact corneal endothelium.


A consecutive series on 166 eyes is compared to a group of 566 consecutive PKP eyes regarding visual acuity, astigmatism, stability of refraction and endothelial cell count. The operations were performed in one centre by the same surgeon with the same trephine (Guided Trephine System, GTS) and special instrumentation for DALK (Geuder, Heidelberg). All transplants were of a diameter of 8 mm, the fixation was done with the double-running antitorque suture with one exception. All cases of DALK and PKP were analysed first as two overall groups, then subgroups were broken down for keratoconus and endothelial cell counts (ECC). The subgroups comprised 135 DALK and 76 PKP eyes.


BCVA was identical over the whole follow-up of 5 years for the overall groups of DALK and PKP. Statistically significant differences could only be found for the first 3 months favouring DALK (Median 0.5 to 0.35, p = 0.001), whereas for both groups BCVA was without statistically significant differences from month 6 through to 5 years. In the subgroups DALK versus PKP in keratoconus none of the medians from the 1st month to the 5th year were statically significantly different. Between the 1st and 2nd year a maximal BCVA of median 0.7 was reached. The analysis of the endothelial cell count shows both for the comparison of the overall groups and the subgroups keratoconus highly significant differences favouring DALK for all time intervals.


Since stable ECC suggest an unlimited lifetime of DALK and there is no clinical difference in the outcomes of BCVA or cylinders it must be concluded that with the data presented the DALK operation should be preferred over PKP in eyes that preoperatively have normal endothelial cell counts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart, New York
Loading ...
Support Center