This study evaluates the technical feasibility and clinical outcomes of a Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) technique that could increase the availability of donor tissue for DMEK.
To evaluate the clinical outcome of using a semicircular, large-diameter Descemet membrane graft in DMEK (hemi-DMEK), potentially allowing the use of a single donor cornea for 2 DMEK procedures.
Design, Setting, and Participants
A prospective, interventional case series was conducted at a tertiary referral center. Three eyes of 3 patients with Fuchs endothelial dystrophy received a hemi-DMEK.
Transplantation of a semicircular, large-diameter hemi-DMEK graft.
Main Outcomes and Measures
Best-corrected visual acuity, endothelial cell density, pachymetry, and intraoperative and postoperative complications.
The patients’ best-corrected visual acuity at 6 months was 0.70 (Snellen equivalent, 20/29), 0.50 (20/40 [amblyopic eye]), and 1.20 (20/17). At 1 month, endothelial cell density decreased by 49%, 31%, and 39%, respectively, and endothelial cell migration appeared to continue for up to 6 months. Central corneal thicknesses decreased from 682, 707, and 681 μm before surgery to 523, 534, and 489 μm, respectively, at 6 months. No intraoperative or postoperative complications were seen.
Conclusions and Relevance
Hemi-DMEK (using half-moon–shaped grafts) is technically feasible and may provide visual outcomes similar to those obtained with routine DMEK (full-moon–shaped graft). If so, this technique may have the potential to double the availability of donor endothelial tissue for DMEK surgery.