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Br J Ophthalmol. 2009 Mar;93(3):387-90. doi: 10.1136/bjo.2008.140020. Epub 2008 Nov 19.

Graft rejection episodes after Descemet stripping with endothelial keratoplasty: part one: clinical signs and symptoms.

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Cornea Research Foundation of America, 9002 N. Meridian Street, Ste. 212, Indianapolis, IN 46260, USA.



To investigate characteristics of initial immunological graft rejection after Descemet stripping with endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK).


The incidence, symptoms and clinical characteristics of initial immunological graft rejection episodes were analysed retrospectively in 598 eyes treated with primary DSEK at a single tertiary referral centre.


Graft rejection episodes occurred in 54 eyes of 48 patients. Thirty-five per cent of the eyes were asymptomatic and were diagnosed during routine examination. Signs of immunological rejection at the initial diagnosis included keratic precipitates (69%), diffuse corneal oedema (11%) or both (20%); no endothelial rejection lines were observed. In contrast to standard full-thickness grafts, there were no epithelial immunological reactions because the epithelium and anterior stroma are not transplanted in DSEK. Most grafts cleared; four (7%) progressed to graft failure and were successfully regrafted with DSEK.


Immunological graft rejection is an important postoperative complication after DSEK. The range of clinical findings indicative of corneal graft rejection differs in some respects between DSEK and standard penetrating keratoplasty.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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