PURPOSE: To determine which baseline characteristics are associated with vision-related quality of life (QOL) after endothelial keratoplasty. METHODS: A patient- and outcome-masked randomized clinical trial. Consecutive patients presenting with isolated endothelial disease requiring endothelial keratoplasty at Oregon Health Sciences University and Stanford University. Study eyes randomized to one of the 2 types of endothelial keratoplasty were given the national eye institute vision function questionnaire 25 at baseline and 12 months. In this prespecified secondary outcome, we assessed the role of recipient and donor characteristics as predictors of the 12-month national eye institute vision function questionnaire 25 change score. RESULTS: The mean vision function questionnaire (VFQ) score was 74 (SD 14) at baseline and increased to 82 (SD 12) at 3 months and 87 (SD 10) at 12 months. We were unable to find a difference in vision-related QOL in study participants who underwent Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty compared with ultrathin Descemet stripping endothelial keratoplasty [coef -0.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) -9.27 to 7.31; P = 0.82]. In multivariable analysis, patients who underwent endothelial keratoplasty in 2 eyes had approximately 8 points higher VFQ at 12 months after the second eye than those who had only one eye enrolled (95% CI 0.10-15.72; P = 0.047). Posterior densitometry produced an approximately 1-point increase each in the VFQ change score for each 1 grayscale unit increase at baseline (95% CI 0.26-1.81; P = 0.009). Although the sample size was small, a diagnosis of pseudophakic bullous keratopathy had approximately 19-points more improvement on average compared with Fuchs (95% CI 7.68-30.00; P = 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Bilateral endothelial keratoplasty resulted in higher vision-related QOL compared with unilateral. Baseline densitometry, objective measure of corneal haze that predicts vision-related QOL, may play a role in monitoring disease progression.
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