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Ultrathin Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK) versus Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK)-a systematic review and meta-analysis

Eye (Lond). 2023 Mar 18. doi: 10.1038/s41433-023-02467-2. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Endothelial keratoplasty (EK) is a commonly performed transplant procedure used in the treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction. The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the differences in visual acuity outcomes, endothelial cell density (ECD) and complications between two forms of EK, ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK) and Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK).

METHODS: A literature search of MEDLINE, Embase and Cochrane Library was conducted to identify studies reporting comparative results of UT-DSAEK versus DMEK. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) statement was used for search strategy. Of 141 titles, 7 studies met the inclusion criteria; best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) (LogMAR), ECD (cells/mm2), and complications were compared, with all statistical analysis performed using Review Manager.

RESULTS: A total of 362 eyes were included for analysis. DMEK resulted in significantly better BCVA at 3 months (0.14 vs 0.22, p = 0.003), 6 months (0.08 vs 0.18, p = 0.005) and 1 year post-op (0.07 vs 0.14, p = 0.0005). UT-DSAEK resulted in significantly lower total complications (25.2% vs 57.3%, p = 0.0001) and rates of re-bubbling (11.0% vs 33.7%, p = 0.004). No differences were found in ECD between the two procedures (1541 vs 1605, p = 0.77).

CONCLUSIONS: DMEK results in superior visual acuity rates with quicker recovery. However, UT-DSAEK has a more favourable complication profile, particularly regarding lower rates of re-bubbling. Both are valuable options in the treatment of corneal endothelial disease and choice of procedure may depend on surgical expertise.

PMID:36934158 | DOI:10.1038/s41433-023-02467-2

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