Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty versus Ultrathin Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty A Multicenter Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

Suryan L. Dunker*, Mor M. Dickman, Robert P. L. Wisse, Siamak Nobacht, Robert H. J. Wijdh, Marjolijn C. Bartels, Mei L. Tang, Frank J. H. M. van den Biggelaar, Pieter J. Kruit, Rudy M. M. A. Nuijts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: To compare best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), endothelial cell density (ECD), refractive astigmatism, and complications after Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) and ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK).

Design: Prospective, multicenter randomized controlled trial.

Participants: Fifty-four pseudophakic eyes of 54 patients with corneal endothelial dysfunction resulting from Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy were enrolled in 6 corneal centers in The Netherlands.

Methods: Participants were allocated to DMEK (n = 29) or UT-DSAEK (n = 25) using minimization randomization based on preoperative BSCVA, recipient central corneal thickness, gender, age, and institution. Donor corneas were prestripped and precut for DMEK and UT-DSAEK, respectively. Six corneal surgeons participated in this study.

Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measure was BSCVA at 12 months after surgery.

Results: Central graft thickness of UT-DSAEK lamellae measured 101 mu m (95% confidence interval [CI], 90-112 mu m). Best spectacle-corrected visual acuity did not differ significantly between DMEK and UT-DSAEK groups at 3 months (0.15 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution [logMAR] [95% CI 0.08-0.22 logMAR] vs. 0.22 logMAR [95% CI 0.16-0.27 logMAR]; P = 0.15), 6 months (0.11 logMAR [95% CI 0.05-0.17 logMAR] vs. 0.16 logMAR [95% CI 0.12-0.21 logMAR]; P = 0.20), and 12 months (0.08 logMAR [95% CI 0.03-0.14 logMAR] vs. 0.15 logMAR [95% CI 0.10-0.19 logMAR]; P = 0.06). Twelve months after surgery, the percentage of eyes reaching 20/25 Snellen BSCVA was higher in DMEK compared with UT-DSAEK (66% vs. 33%; P = 0.02). Endothelial cell density did not differ significantly 12 months after DMEK and UT-DSAEK (1870 cells/mm 2 [95% CI 1670-2069 cells/mm(2)] vs. 1612 cells/mm(2) [95% CI 1326-1898 cells/mm(2)]; P = 0.12). Both techniques induced a mild hyperopic shift (12 months: +0.22 diopter [D; 95% CI -0.23 to 0.68 D] for DMEK vs. +0.58 D [95% CI 0.13-1.03 D] for UT-DSAEK; P = 0.34).

Conclusions: Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty and UT-DSAEK did not differ significantly in mean BSCVA, but the percentage of eyes achieving 20/25 Snellen vision was significantly higher with DMEK. Endothelial cell loss did not differ significantly between the treatment groups, and both techniques induced a minimal hyperopic shift. (C) 2020 by the American Academy of Ophthalmology

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1152-1159
Number of pages8
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020


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