Send to

Choose Destination
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2016 Mar;254(3):515-22. doi: 10.1007/s00417-015-3248-z. Epub 2016 Jan 7.

Outcomes of Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty, Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty and penetrating keratoplasty from a single centre study.

Author information

Eye Center, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Killianstr. 5, D-79106, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.
Eye Center, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Killianstr. 5, D-79106, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany.



According to some pioneer surgeons, lamellar endothelial keratoplasty techniques (EK), including Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) and Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK), yield excellent clinical results. However, there is a lack of studies with high levels of evidence and results of large national keratoplasty registers are contradictory. Therefore, two large cohorts of DMEK and DSAEK procedures are compared to a cohort of penetrating keratoplasty (PK).


The study reports 868 keratoplasty procedures at a single centre (694 eyes with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy (FED) and 174 with bullous keratopathy (BK)). Patients underwent DMEK (450 eyes), DSAEK (89 eyes), or PK (329 eyes). Postoperative visual acuity, endothelial cell density (ECD), rate of regrafting, and rejections were recorded.


Visual acuity recovers faster and to a greater extent in EK compared to PK. DMEK performs better than DSAEK. ECD drops faster initially for EK compared to PK. In EK the rate of regrafting is higher than in PK (7 % in DMEK, 20 % in DSAEK and 2 % in PK in FED). The rejection rate is lowest following DMEK (7 % after DMEK, 21 % after DSAEK and 18 % after PK in FED).


In contrast to recent reports from national keratoplasty registers, the overall clinical outcome of EK in FED and BK is superior to PK. Including ocular comorbidities and learning curves, these data reflect a realistic setting for comparing the different keratoplasty techniques. Corneal surgeons may be encouraged to preferentially use DMEK in FED and BK.


Cornea; DMEK; DSAEK; Keratoplasty; PK

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center