Cell loss no greater with femtosecond lasers

September 10, 2007

Penetrating keratoplasty (PK) with a femtosecond laser offers good surgical results and endothelial cell loss numbers similar to those found for PK using standard trephines.

Penetrating keratoplasty (PK) with a femtosecond laser offers good surgical results and endothelial cell loss numbers similar to those found for PK using standard trephines, according to Mike Holzer and co-workers at the International Vision Correction Research Centre, Heidelberg University, Germany.

Eleven eyes of 10 subjects underwent uneventful PK with a femtosecond laser. Endothelial cell counts were taken on the corneal donor buttons prior to surgery and measurements were taken at 12 and 24 months postoperatively using a specular microscope.

Preoperative cell counts ranged between 2,300 and 2,750 cells/mm2. At 24 months postoperatively, all corneal transplants were clear and visual acuity had improved from preoperative levels. The postoperative cell counts ranged between 1,350 and 2,100 cells/mm2, whilst the median cell loss was recorded as 35.9%.

It was concluded that cell loss is similar in patients undergoing PK with a femtosecond laser and in those undergoing treatment using conventional trephines.