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Background: To accurately measure ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (DSAEK) donor lamella thickness during the first postoperative year and to correlate this with pre-operative and other postoperative measurements. Methods: Donor lamella thickness in 41 eyes undergoing DSAEK for Fuchs endothelial dystrophy (FED) was measured using the Tomey Casia OCT directly after graft preparation and at 1 week and 1, 3, 6 and 12 months postoperatively. Visual acuity and endothelial cell density were measured as the secondary parameters. Results: Individual graft thickness profiles were shown to be fairly regular within the optically relevant area. There was a strong and highly significant correlation between the pre- and postoperative lamellar thicknesses at all time points (p < 0.0001). Compared with the measurements directly after preparation at the cornea bank, the lamella thickness decreased by 12% after 12 months. Between 1 and 12 months postoperatively, the lamella thickness (mean ± SD) changed from 112 ± 27 μm to 101 ± 21 μm. Best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA) changed from 0.46 ± 0.30 logMAR pre-operatively through 0.36 ± 0.33 at 1 month to 0.13 ± 0.16 at 1 year postoperatively. The endothelial cell counts were comparable to those reported in previous studies. Conclusions: Thickness profiles of individual grafts were fairly regular within the optically relevant area. A strong relationship between pre- and postoperative graft thicknesses was detected, and ultrathin DSAEK grafts prepared using methods similar to that applied in this study are expected to show a deswelling of around 12% during the first postoperative year. No correlation was detected between graft thickness and BSCVA.
van Rooij, J., Engel, A., Steijger-Vermaat, P., Molenaar, A., Vigueras-Guillén, J. P., & Wubbels, R. J. (2023). Donor lamella thickness after ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty and its relation to postoperative visual acuity and pre-operative lamella measures. BMC Ophthalmology, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12886-023-03019-8