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T. John, A.G. John; Corneal Sensitivity after Deep Lamellar Endothelial Keratoplasty (DLEK) . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):4690.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: We previously reported on corneal sensitivity following penetrating keratoplasty (PK). The present study evaluated corneal sensitivity after DLEK. Methods: Corneal sensitivity was tested in the central, and at 11, 12, 1, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions in the peripheral, and mid-peripheral cornea (within the area of the donor disk) using the Cochet-Bonnet aesthesiometer following DLEK in 10 eyes (10 patients; 1 male, 9 females; average age, 75.5 years (range, 55-85 yr). Three readings were taken from each corneal area and the mean value was recorded. The average follow-up was 20.7 weeks (range, 1-38). The preoperative diagnoses were pseudophakic bullous keratopathy (n=8) and Fuchs’ corneal endothelial dystrophy with bullous keratopathy (n=2). The donor disk diameter was 8.0 mm. Results: The mean corneal sensitivity measurement in the central cornea was 60.00 mm. The mean superior peripheral corneal sensitivity measurements after DLEK were as follows: 1 week, 13.33 mm; 8 weeks, 50.70 mm; 10 weeks, 55.00 mm; and after 12 weeks, 60 mm. Conclusion: This is the first report of corneal sensitivity following DLEK. Unlike PK, DLEK preserves the normal central corneal sensitivity. The superior peripheral corneal hypesthesia following DLEK is restored after 4 months. In contrast to PK, better corneal sensitivity after DLEK may help sustain the preoperative levels of tear production and possibly maintain corneal epithelial integrity and function.
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