PURPOSE: To compare the degree of corneal light scatter as measured by densitometry in ultrathin Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK) and Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) in the Descemet endothelial thickness comparison trial. METHODS: This was a prespecified secondary analysis of the Descemet endothelial thickness comparison trial, which was a prospective, randomized controlled trial. Subjects with isolated endothelial dysfunction were enrolled and were randomized to either UT-DSAEK or DMEK. Corneal opacity was quantitatively measured by Pentacam densitometry (OCULUS) at 3, 6, and 12 months. RESULTS: Fifty eyes of 38 patients were enrolled at the Casey Eye Institute at Oregon Health & Science University and the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford University. Corneal densitometry for the anterior and posterior layers improved in both UT-DSAEK and DMEK after surgery. The decrease was more pronounced in the posterior layer for both groups. However, there was no difference in the degree of corneal light scatter between UT-DSAEK and DMEK at postoperative month 12, and no difference in change in densitometry was observed between the 2 arms from baseline to month 12. CONCLUSIONS: Both UT-DSAEK and DMEK experience an improvement in the degree of corneal light scatter after surgery. However, there was no difference in densitometry between the 2 groups at month 12. Therefore, other factors such as higher order aberrations in the posterior cornea rather than stromal-stromal interface haze mediate the superior visual outcomes in DMEK compared with UT-DSAEK.
ASJC Scopus subject areas