Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty compared with ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty: a meta-analysis

Tal Corina Sela*, Moti Iflah, Khitam Muhsen, Alon Zahavi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Aims This study aims to compare the clinical outcome of Descemet membrane endothelial keratoplasty (DMEK) and ultrathin Descemet stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (UT-DSAEK) in patients with corneal endothelial dysfunction due to Fuchs’ endothelial dystrophy or pseudophakic bullous keratopathy. Methods We conducted a meta-analysis using a literature search of Embase, PubMed, Cochrane CENTRAL, ClinicalTrials.gov and WHO ICTRP databases. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and cohort studies that compared DMEK and UT-DSAEK (graft<130 µm), with a follow-up of ≥12 months, published until 20 February 2022. We used the Revised Cochrane risk-of-bias tool for RCTs and the Risk of Bias in Non-Randomised Studies-of Interventions system for cohort studies. Results Out of 144 records, 8 studies (3 RCTs, 2 fellow-eye studies and 3 cohort studies) were included, encompassing 376 eyes, (N=187 DMEK vs N=189 UT-DSAEK). The 12-month logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was better post-DMEK (mean difference -0.06 (95% CI -0.10 to –0.02)), but with higher rebubbling risk: OR 2.76 (95% CI 1.46 to 5.22). Heterogeneity was significant I2=57%. Findings were consistent when excluding retrospective studies, including only studies with low risk of bias or RCTs only. An analysis of studies with mean DSAEK grafts <70 µm showed no significant difference in BCVA between the procedures. Publication bias was found in the BCVA analysis (Egger’s test p=0.023). Conclusions Post-DMEK BCVA is superior to post-UT-DSAEK when using <130 µm grafts. DSAEK grafts <70 µm may not significantly differ from DMEK. The higher risk of rebubbling with DMEK necessitates an appropriate selection of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere001397
JournalBMJ Open Ophthalmology
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2023

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