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Update on Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty

Joao V Godinho, Shahzad I Mian
Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 2019, 30 (4): 271-274

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To provide an update on new perspectives on Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).

RECENT FINDINGS: Preloaded DMEK grafts allow optimization of DMEK surgery time and reduce costs of the procedure, which is allowing the procedure to become more easily performed as reflected in the increasing number of cases. The surgical technique in the United States differs from the technique in Europe, but outcomes have been similar. Hemi-DMEK and quarter-DMEK have shown similar outcomes to conventional DMEK with respect to corneal transparency and visual acuity. Three-year follow-up of hemi-DMEK has also shown stability in endothelial cell count while maintaining corneal transparency.

SUMMARY: DMEK is becoming more accepted as the procedure of choice for treating endothelial failure. However, challenges with the surgical technique have limited wider implementation of this lamellar corneal transplantation. Preloaded DMEK provides one solution for the surgical challenges associated with the procedure while also reducing costs. Variations in the surgical technique for DMEK, including hemi-DMEK and quarter-DMEK, allow for central corneal clarity similar to traditional DMEK, but both result in lower endothelial cell density (ECD).


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