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Am J Ophthalmol. 2008 Dec;146(6):905-12.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2008.06.034. Epub 2008 Aug 23.

Comparison of three different techniques of corneal transplantation for keratoconus.

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Ophthalmology Department, Toronto Western Hospital, University of Toronto, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To compare the visual outcomes following deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty (DALK), penetrating keratoplasty (PK), and manual top-hat PK (TH-PK) in subjects undergoing corneal transplantation for keratoconus (KC).


A retrospective comparative case series.


settings: Cornea clinic at the Toronto Western Hospital. study population: Fifty patients who underwent corneal transplantation for KC: 17 eyes underwent DALK, 20 eyes underwent traditional PK, and 13 had TH-PK. main outcome measures: Preoperative and postoperative uncorrected and best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (UCVA, BSCVA), high-order aberrations (HOA), complication rate, and endothelial cell counts.


The median BSCVA at 12 months follow-up was 20/40 in the DALK eyes and 20/30 in the traditional PK and TH-PK eyes. The mean final spherical equivalent power in the three groups was less than -1 diopter (D). The median astigmatism was less than 3.5 D in the three groups. Complication rates were similar for three groups, although the DALK group tended toward more complications. Although DALK and TH-PK procedure results in significantly shorter time to suture removal (P < .01), they caused increased levels of HOAs (P = .02). Endothelial cell counts at 12 months were significantly higher in DALK and TH-PK eyes when compared to the traditional PK eyes (P < .001).


DALK, PK, and TH-PK provide comparable visual outcomes in keratoconus patients. Although DALK and TH-PK induce more HOA, they speed up the time to suture removal and provide higher endothelial cell density at one year of follow-up.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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