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H. Hatanaka, N. Koizumi, N. Okumura, H. Takahashi, H. Tanioka, S. Kinoshita; Feasibility Evaluation of Non-Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty by Using an in vivo Animal Model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):2838.
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Although non-Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (nDSAEK) was introduced as a modified new therapy for corneal endothelial deficiency, the influence of residual recipient Descemet’s membrane and corneal endothelium are not well clarified. This current study was conducted to reveal the histological features of nDSAEK by using an in vivo animal model.
Four corneal endothelial grafts (thickness: 100-200-µm, diameter: 8-mm) were prepared manually from rabbit eyes. As an nDSAEK group, a graft was transplanted in 2 Japanese white rabbit eyes without Descemet’s membrane stripping. As a DSAEK group, a graft was transplanted in 2 Japanese white rabbit eyes with Descemet’s membrane stripping. The corneal transparency and thickness in those eyes was then assessed by slit-lamp microscopy. The rabbits were euthanized 1 week after transplantation, and their corneal tissue was then evaluated by HE staining and immunohistchemical staining of Na+K+ ATPase.
Slit-lamp microscopy examination revealed that the cornea was clear both in the nDSAEK and DSAEK groups. Although the grafts were attached onto the host corneas under a slit-lamp microscope, graft-recipient adhesion was weaker in the nDSAEK group compared to the DSAEK group. The recipient corneal endothelial cells were identified between the host and graft by HE staining, and they showed positive staining of Na+K+ ATPase in immunohistochemical analysis.
In this study, we showed the histological features of the host-graft interface of nDSAEK by use of an animal model. Although the corneas were transparent both in the DSAEK and nDSAEK groups, the adhesion strength of the host-graft interface and the influence of residual host corneal endothelium are points that require further investigation.
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