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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2013 Apr;251(4):1191-8. doi: 10.1007/s00417-012-2203-5. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Intraocular pressure elevation and post-DSEK glaucoma after Descemet`s stripping endothelial keratoplasty.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Campus Virchow Klinikum, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353, Berlin, Germany,



Intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation is a common problem in penetrating keratoplasty (PK), and possibly leads to graft failure. IOP elevation and secondary glaucoma may also be present after Descemet`s stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK). This retrospective study analyzes the risk factors for IOP elevation and the functional outcome in those patients with post-DSEK glaucoma.


A retrospective analysis of case records of 72 DSEKs between 2007 and 2010 was performed. A total of 59 operated eyes were included. The assessment included the pre-operative history of corneal disease and glaucoma. Furthermore, the response to antiglaucoma treatment, the graft failure, the IOP, and visual acuity development were evaluated.


The incidence of IOP elevation was 28.8 % and of post-DSEK glaucoma 11.9 %. Steroid-induced IOP elevation was the most frequent cause, with an incidence of 18.6 %. Patients with pre-existing glaucoma showed a significantly higher risk of developing IOP elevation, steroid-induced glaucoma and post-DSEK glaucoma (p = 0.006, p = 0.023, p = 0.009). In all cases, IOP elevation was treated effectively by tapering down steroid medication and initiating or increasing antiglaucoma medication. Visual acuity after 6 and 12 months improved significantly in cases with and without pre-existing glaucoma (p < 0.0001). After 24 months, clear grafts were achieved in 53 eyes (89.9 %). There was no significant difference in graft failure rates between cases with or without pre-existing glaucoma (p = 0.581) and with or without post-DSEK glaucoma (p = 0.306).


IOP elevation after DSEK shows a high incidence. Pre-existing glaucoma increased the risk of developing IOP elevation and post-DSEK glaucoma. Although steroid-induced IOP elevation was the most frequent cause and could be treated effectively by tapering down steroid medication; there are other reasons why post-DSEK glaucoma developed. Management by medical treatment results in good visual acuity and graft survival.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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