To compare the biological and ultrastructural properties of a commercially available decellularized and dehydrated human amniotic membrane (DDHAM) product with cryopreserved human amniotic membrane (CHAM) and to demonstrate the feasibility of DDHAM transplant in a case of chronic ocular surface disease.
Histologic examination, immunohistochemical examination for extracellular matrix molecules and growth factors, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy were performed on both DDHAM and CHAM specimens. A DDHAM transplant was performed in a patient with chronic bullous keratopathy and ocular surface instability.
Histologic examination and transmission electron microscopy revealed the disruption of the trilaminar structure of the basement membrane compared with CHAM, and immunohistochemical examination confirmed the loss of collagen IV and VII, laminin, and fibronectin in DDHAM. Lower levels of several growth factors were also seen in DDHAM compared with CHAM. Clinical transplant of DDHAM was, however, successful, with rapid reepithelialization.
Significant differences in composition and ultrastructure exist between DDHAM and CHAM but do not appear to compromise cell survival in vivo.
The ease of storage and handling of DDHAM make it potentially valuable in ocular surface surgery, but its biological properties have not been well characterized, and there are also few data on its clinical application.