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J Cataract Refract Surg. 2013 Jul;39(7):1036-46. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2013.02.051. Epub 2013 May 9.

Incidence of irregular astigmatism eligible for contact lens fitting after Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty.

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The Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, Melles Cornea Clinic, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.



To evaluate the incidence and causes of anterior corneal surface irregularities after successful Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) and the efficacy of contact lens fitting in these cases.


Tertiary referral center.


Retrospective study of prospectively collected data.


Eyes with a subnormal visual outcome or monocular diplopia after successful DMEK were fitted with a contact lens. These cases were evaluated with Pentacam rotating Scheimpflug camera imaging preoperatively and 6 months postoperatively, and outcomes were compared with those in a randomly selected DMEK control group.


In a series of 262 surgeries, 23 eyes (21 patients) were fitted with contact lenses; the control group comprised 23 eyes. Indications for contact lens fitting included (1) obvious corneal surface irregularities due to preexisting corneal scarring, (2) surface irregularities associated with longstanding preoperative stromal edema, and (3) undetectable optical imperfections. The postoperative corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA) with spectacles improved after contact lens correction (P<.001). Preoperative and postoperative irregularity indices were significantly higher in the contact lens group than in the DMEK control group (P<.05). Positive correlations were found between the duration of preoperative stromal edema and postoperative Scheimpflug camera indices (P<.02).


After successful DMEK, 23 of 262 eyes (9%) showed subnormal spectacle CDVA and/or monocular diplopia due to corneal scarring, surface irregularities, or undetectable optical imperfections that could be managed by contact lens fitting. Prolonged preoperative corneal edema for more than 12 months may be a risk factor for diffuse irregular astigmatism after DMEK.


Dr. Melles is a consultant to DORC International BV/Dutch Ophthalmic USA. No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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