The aim of the present study was to compare deep lamellar endothelial keratoplasty (DLEK) and penetrating keratoplasty (PK) treatments for bullous keratopathy (BK). In total, 36 healthy New Zealand white rabbits were randomly divided into 3 groups termed the experimental, DLEK and PK groups. The experimental control group received no treatment. The DLEK and PK groups were observed for corneal astigmatism at 1, 2, or 3 months post-surgery using a corneal topography instrument and a slit lamp microscope. The incidence of immune rejection after 3 months of recovery was determined using hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining. The corneal specimens from the surgery groups were compared with those from the control group. In the 12 rabbit eyes that underwent the DLEK surgery, the central cornea became clear after 1 week. After 3 months, these corneas were almost transparent and no eye infections or other complications were observed in 10 of the eyes, while surgical perforations in 2 eyes led to surgical lamellar failure. In the PK surgery group, in which 12 rabbit eyes were also treated, nine were almost transparent after 3 months of recovery, while three eyes were immunologically rejected due to the corneal grafts. The occurrences of corneal astigmatism that were observed following DLEK and PK treatment were significantly different after 1, 2 and 3 months of recovery (P<0.05). Normal corneal staining was observed in the DLEK and PK rabbits subjected to H&E staining after 3 months of recovery. A BK animal model was established by curetting the Descemet's membrane (DM film). In comparison with PK, DLEK is a superior surgical treatment for BK.
Zhao, H., Luo, Y., Niu, C., & Guan, W. (2013). Comparison of treatments for bullous keratopathy in rabbits. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 5(5), 1481–1485. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2013.1025