Is Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) Effective For Treating Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy?

March 1, 2009

Surgery for corneal endothelial dysfunction has been moving away from penetrating keratoplasty in favor of posterior lamellar keratoplasty techniques, in which only selected tissues are grafted. A technique rapidly gaining popularity is endothelial keratoplasty with stripping of Descemet’s membrane, in which the host tissue is replaced by the membrane and endothelium — and a thin slice of cornea — from the donor eye.

The addition of the new tissue creates an interface that can scatter light and interfere with vision. As reported by MedPage Today, a study published in the February 2009 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology led by Dr. Sanjy Patel of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, suggests that the retained host cornea itself also undergoes changes that continue to reduce visual acuity, even six months after the procedure was completed when swelling in the cornea has resolved.

Read more about the study and its outcomes on the MedPage Today website, including a short audio presentation by Dr. Patel. An abstract of the published study in the Archives of Ophthalmology website, entitled “The Effect of Corneal Light Scatter on Vision After Descemet Stripping With Endothelial Keratoplasty,” is available here.

We invite readers to submit comments below regarding their own experiences using PKP vs. DSEK vs. DLEK for treatment of Fuchs’ Dystrophy and pseudophakic bullous keratopathy.




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2 Responses to “Is Descemet’s Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK) Effective For Treating Fuchs Endothelial Dystrophy?”

  • Donna

    This may not strictly apply since my mother was aphakik but her DSEK procedure did not take. Her bubble dislocated posteriorly. However, I’ve since read of a procedure whereby her pupil would be temporarily sewn shut to prevent this from happening. I’m disappointed her surgeon apparently did not know about this. She is now scheduled for a full-thickness PK – I am concerned about going through with this rather than being able to try the new procedure with this added feature for prevention of the complication; however, she is not willing to take another chance; I only hope she’s not disappointed with her choice.

  • Dr. Weitzner

    i don’t have personal experience, but these advances in cornea surgery are remarkable and will hopefully replace pkp one day. perhaps artificial corneas will do even better! these continue to be exciting times in ophthalmology- it seems our specialty is progressing much faster and adopting new technology more than any other specialty, which is one of the reasons it’s fun to be an ophthalmologist. too bad they keep cutting our fees- that makes it a lot less fun.